Boeing Australia Seeks Milsatcom Contract

Boeing provides the Wideband Global SATCOM system to the U.S.
Credit: Boeing

Boeing Australia is hoping to leverage Boeing’s U.S. military satellite technologies to build a system that can win a $3.5 billion contract from the Australian Defense Force for the nation’s next-generation military satellite communications system.

Australia, in a request for proposals issued in April for Joint Project 9102, said it is seeking to develop its own system that includes a narrowband or legacy UHF wideband capability, as well as wideband commercial and military Ka-band technology, and X-band services, according to Matt Buckle, director of emerging markets at Boeing Defense Australia. Airbus, Lockheed Martin and others are actively competing for the work.

The initial contract will support the development, installation and operations of the system with a five-year support period, according to Buckle. Australia may later expand the system to include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or space domain awareness missions.

For its part, Boeing is hoping to leverage its longstanding work for the U.S. government on the Wideband Global Satcom constellation, which operates in Ka-band and X-band, as well as future protected tactical satellite programs it is developing for the U.S. Space Force. 

“Our solution is to bring the best of the U.S. through to Australia,” Buckle said. That means partnering with Australian companies such as Saber Astronautics, known for next-generation space visualization, and Clearbox, which has a background in software development and integration.

Jen DiMascio

Based in Washington, Jen previously managed Aviation Week’s worldwide defense, space and security coverage.