A first-of-its-kind prototype of ‘on-the-move’ battlespace communication technology was put to the test at Ex Talisman Sabre, 18 months ahead of scheduled release.
Developed as part of Boeing Defence Australia’s (BDA) Project Currawong and integrated into an armoured vehicle, the Headquarters on the Move (HQOTM) capability provides commanders with unprecedented mobile situational awareness, decision-making ability, and voice connectivity.
“Even in the most remote locations, and when travelling at speed, the vehicle can link via satellite to the ADF's secure communications network, giving commanders real-time information on the enemy’s location and the ability to communicate with land-based forces and ADF headquarters from anywhere,” Project Currawong program director Ian Vett said.
Exercise Talisman Sabre provided the ideal initial testing ground for the capability. Trialling on exercise enabled frontline soldiers to give feedback on operational functionality as well as providing Boeing engineers with access to realistic war-like scenarios to continue to innovate and improve the equipment’s capability.
“HQOTM is not scheduled to be released until late 2020. However, the bi-annual Talisman Sabre field training exercise provided an exceptional opportunity for BDA to demonstrate and test this ground-breaking future capability,” Vett said. “It also helps the customer to get an early and more complete understanding of the Currawong system’s unquestionable capacity to redefine the future of battlespace communication.”
HQOTM is integrated into the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles.
The 3rd Combat Signal Regiment tweeted that the PMV will provide a step-change in mobile information and communication services to Commanders and their staffs across a range of mission sets.
In addition to demonstrating the on-the-move capability, Currawong’s Release 1 equipment – comprising a large man-portable, modular core black data network, communication bearers, a mission system manager, and field voice services – was fully deployed at Talisman Sabre.
Encompassing the key foundational elements of the Currawong communication network, Release 1 was completed in April 2019.