Thales’ Wide Area Network contract extension

Thales Australia has been awarded a contract extension by the Department of Defence for an Internet Protocol (IP) based Maritime Tactical Wide Area Network (MTWAN) system.

Part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Maritime Communications Modernisation and network centric warfare priorities, the contract was let under the navy’s SEA 1442 Phase 3 programme.

Thales’s MTWAN is at the core of the RAN’s maritime communication systems integration, and involves an integrated IP-based digital environment, interfacing with a range of existing RAN systems.

Vice President for Digital Systems at Thales Australia & New Zealand, Peter Bull, said: “We’ve actively supported the RAN for the last 12 years with the MTWAN system, ensuring this critical capability delivers the security and reliability the RAN requires on operation.

“We’re proud the Commonwealth has shown confidence in its partnership with Thales Australia by extending this MTWAN support contract even further.”

Thales said in a statement that it had used a low-risk approach, future-proofing through the use of Commercial Off The Shelf components, also reducing through life support costs.

“Over the duration of the SEA 1442 Phase 3 programme, Thales’s continuous improvement policy and global access to cutting edge technologies has enabled the adoption and implementation of next generation improvements to the system, ensuring the system is future proof, capable of supporting current and future information exchange demands, whilst also ensuring interoperability with joint, coalition and allied systems.”

Thales developed ‘several major baseline upgrades’ of MTWAN to support the growing demands of increased bandwidth for deployed forces, diversity of communication bearers and enhanced cyber security of tactical networks at sea.

This work has included the integration of additional commercial and military SATCOM systems, Joint Domain networks, and improved bandwidth utilisation tools.

Work was carried out at Thales’s Secure Communications Centre of Excellence at Rydalmere in Western Sydney.

Image: Thales Australia

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