• Credit: Defence
    Credit: Defence

The Minor Acquisition – Under $50 million category for the 2019 Essington Lewis Awards sees the Optus C1 Satellite Life of Type Extension program go up against the Anzac Class Interim IFF program. Once again, the judges were asked to compare apples and oranges in this category but the fundamental collaboration between Defence and their industry partners was key to their selection as finalists.

With space related programs tending to cost both large amounts of time and money, Defence’s CIO Group worked with Optus and its partners to extend the life of type of the C1 satellite, making sure that the ADF has continuous access to high speed UHF comms until the next generation of programs come online. This program is the definition of rocket science with the team working out the best way to keep the legacy platform operations past its designed life of type.

“Working with literal rocket science, the CIOG-led integrated project team was able to work with Optus to reposition the Optus C1 satellite to extend its life and capability to the ADF,” the judges’ citation explained. “With numerous space and ground elements to address, the team was able to save the Commonwealth a significant number of dollars while providing constant satcom service to a bandwidth hungry organisation well beyond the initial contract timeframe.”

The Anzac fleet is the most heavily tasked in the Navy, undertaking missions far from home. Their upgrade path has been well charted first under ASMD and now under the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) team of BAE Systems Australia, Saab Australia and Naval Ship Management these ships remain a potent force projection asset for the ADF.

“This industry and Defence teaming effort is a system of systems collaboration effort with the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) team, a collection of industry partners,” the judges said in their citation. “The program saw delivery of a mandated safety system in a compressed time frame to deliver, test and certify a complex part of the Anzac class upgrade program. The work done on this program was also used to de-risk other RAN programs, acting as a role model for the path ahead.”

ADM and the Department of Defence are looking forward to recognising both teams at the D+I gala dinner on July 31. 

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