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Thales and BAE Systems to pursue Australian maritime communications opportunity

Thales Australia and BAE Systems Australia have announced a teaming agreement to pursue a major maritime communications modernisation initiative.

The two companies will work together to secure SEA Phase 4, the Defence Material Organisation's program for the acquisition and support of a mission system for Australia's eight ANZAC frigates, with Thales Australia as prime contractor.

Thales is already successfully delivering SEA 1442 Phase 3, establishing a Maritime Tactical Wide Area Network over a significant proportion of the Royal Australian Navy's fleet, while BAE Systems has extreme maritime expertise and is also the ANZAC platform design authority.

"Thales and BAE Systems make a very strong team," said Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia's CEO. "Our combined experience in maritime communications and on the ANZAC platform means we can offer the Commonwealth a low-risk solution that will maximise the use of COTS and MOTS components, while strengthening the Australian Defence Force's Network-Centric Warfare capabilities."

BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Jim McDowell said: "Our company is the design authority and long-term specialist for the ANZAC class frigates. Our depth of knowledge and proven military integration experience with these warships is unparalleled."

The SEA 1442 Phase 4 mission system will include: upgraded radio support wideband network communications; communications management; communications switching; secure voice and tactical intercom; and a high data rate line-of-sight radio communications.The support system will include a training system, as well as a system integration and test facility.