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BAE Systems Australia plays key role to keep mariners safe

Hydrographic vessel HMAS Leeuwin. Image courtesy Dept. Defence
BAE Systems Australia has secured a three-year, $10 million contract to support the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) ICT systems so that the AHO can produce and maintain nautical charts, publications and hydrographic data to support mariners and the Australian Defence Force in Australian waters.
BAE Systems supports and enhances the AHO’s Hydrography, Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Information Environment (HMIE); which is an integrated system of both Commercial Off-The-Shelf and bespoke software that includes large databases, and specialist hydrographic software. BAE Systems supports and enhances the HMIE System – including the provision of ‘help desk’ services, maintenance services, data manipulation, plus software and hardware engineering changes.
 
In 2004, BAE Systems delivered the initial Digital Hydrographic Database (DHDB) used by the AHO to analyse and update hydrographic data. Since then, BAE Systems has spent more than 20 years working with Defence to improve both the speed that hydrographic data can be analysed and the quality of the information that is provided to update nautical charts and publications.
 
The HMIE support team includes 10 specialist employees – some are embedded with the AHO in Wollongong, NSW and others are based at Edinburgh Parks, SA.
 
BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham said:
“Our support of the Australian Hydrographic Office since 1997 is a great achievement for this highly skilled team.
 
“Data gathered by the hydrographic fleet which the company also support, is increasing exponentially and our team has worked hard to develop new ways to speed up the interpretation of the material so that the maps and charts have greater currency.
 
“The use of new technologies and software has also significantly improved the accuracy of the data which is incredibly important for all mariners.”
 
The AHO is part of the Department of Defence. It is responsible for providing Australia’s national hydrographic service under the terms of the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the Navigation Act 2012.