Babcock awarded major capability upgrade programme by Australia Defence Force

Babcock International Group PLC (“Babcock” or “the Group”) is pleased to announce that Babcock Australia has been awarded a major multi-year programme to upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s Defence High Frequency (HF) Communications System.

The contract, which follows the announcement of Babcock’s selection as preferred partner in July 2022, is worth AU$877 million (c£492 million) over 10 years. It will see Babcock lead the operation and support of the customer’s existing HF capability, while delivering a comprehensive technology upgrade programme.

Starting in October 2023 under the JP9101 – Enhanced Defence High Frequency Communications System program, the new system will provide Australian and allied armed forces with the ability to securely communicate using voice and other data from almost any location across the globe.

Through this agreement, Australia will join the New Zealand and United Kingdom in selecting Babcock as their partner in the engineering, operation and support of long range, resilient strategic HF communications. Babcock is now the largest provider of strategic HF communications in the world, built on a common mission system architecture that is both scalable and interoperable.

Babcock’s principal partner for the program, Lockheed Martin Australia, will support in the delivery of mission system elements that will grow a sovereign industrial capability solution to provide through life support over the duration of the program and beyond.

Australian industry will play a significant part in the delivery of the programme, with most of the works completed in Australia.

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said:

“Our selection demonstrates our ability to bring together complex and critical digital defence capability in an area of increasing importance to our customers around the world.

“In a modern threat environment, access to local communication infrastructure or satellite communication cannot be assured. Having a communications capability that can work seamlessly with the Australian Defence Force and its allies is essential.”

At the heart of the solution is Babcock’s Intelligent Network and Serial Protocol Interface for Radio Equipment (INSPIRE), which provides a step-change in ease of upgrade and re-configuration.