Deputy PM Michael McCormack has turned the first sod to mark the construction phase of a Defence Satellite Ground Station at Kapooka, in his NSW electorate.
The Wideband Satellite Capability project involves the acquisition and sustainment of a new Satellite Ground Station in the East (SGS-E) of Australia and the implementation of a Wideband SATCOM Network Management System (NMS).
“I’m pleased to be at Kapooka today with representatives from the project’s contractors, Northrop Grumman Australia and Viasat, for this ground-breaking activity which will provide flexibility to the ADF’s wideband beyond line-of-sight communications,” Minister McCormack said.
“This $24 million investment means goods and services can be sourced from local businesses throughout the construction phase and ongoing maintenance jobs.
“This is a wonderful result for the Riverina and Kapooka Army Base to remain a vital cog in the ADF network into the future.”
The new ground station will provide site and frequency redundancy to the Wideband Global Satellites visible from mainland Australia.
“Today’s ceremony represents the beginning of construction work which is critical to the broader $220 million program to significantly enhance the communications capability of the ADF while providing local jobs during the construction phase,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said.
“Once completed in 2021, the ground station will provide the satellite communications gateway on the east coast of Australia, and in conjunction with the Wideband SATCOM NMS will deliver a holistic satellite communications network management and situational awareness capability to the ADF.
“This will ensure the ADF has an end-to-end communications service consistent with the operational need for network enabled operations.”