Optus will lead a joint bid with Raytheon Australia and Thales Australia for the JP9102 Australia Defence Communication System program.
“As sector pioneers and the leading investor in the Australian space industry, our solution will leverage our long track record of delivering for Australia’s Defence agencies, supporting Australian industry capabilities, and our unwavering commitment to deliver a sovereign solution that enhances Australia’s security," Optus Chief Executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said.
“The bid team, Team AUSSAT, has a unique proposition being the only team with an unrivalled history of owning and operating satellites in Australia, by Australians, for Australians – drawing synergies from two partner companies with their exceptional pedigrees in building and delivering world-class Defence capabilities.”
“Raytheon Australia has been delivering certified sovereign space solutions and complex system integration to the ADF for decades, partnering with them and local industry to unlock the full potential of satellite data," Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward said.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the team of Optus, Raytheon Australia and Thales Australia would deliver a 'genuine sovereign Australian capability' with the global reach to access world leading space technology from Europe and the US.
“Thales Australia has been a trusted partner of the ADF for more than three decades, delivering advanced secure communication solutions, and we’re proud to partner with Optus and Raytheon Australia on this project," he said.
“Through Team AUSSAT’s bid, we will bring the best solution, capabilities and experience for the benefit of Australia, and the safety and security of all Australians," Kelly Bayer Rosmarin added.
“We also have a unique opportunity to position Australia as a global leader in the space industry by growing our capabilities in STEM, leveraging Optus’ existing partnerships with local universities and providing opportunities for graduates to transition into the sector.”
Since 2003, Optus has flown the C1 Satellite – which provides critical mission capabilities for Defence’s operations and, at the time of launch, was the world’s largest Defence-civilian spacecraft.
Optus currently flies 7 satellites - including NBN’s 2 Skymuster Satellites, with plans to deploy software-defined satellite Optus 11 in 2023 for Australia and New Zealand, making Optus the first satellite operator in Asia Pacific to launch a software-defined satellite that can provide both flexible concurrent broadcast and broadband services via a very high throughput satellite (VHTS) design.
Optus Satellite’s main gateway is in Belrose (NSW) with other operations in Lockridge (WA); Hume (ACT); and Regency Park (SA).