Babcock tapped to deliver long-range comms for Defence

In a major boost to Australia’s strategic military communications network, Babcock Australasia (Babcock) have been awarded the contract to deliver the Australian Defence Force’s Enhanced Defence High-Frequency Communications System (EDHFCS) to support regional and global operations.

The new contract will see Babcock lead the operation and support of the existing HF capability, while delivering a comprehensive technology upgrade over the 10-year program.

The EDHFCS program will commence in October 2023 and provide Australian and allied armed forces with the ability to securely communicate using voice and data from almost any location across the globe.

As part of the Australian Government’s $1.96 billion upgrade to communications equipment and facilities across the country, South Australia will become home to a new Contract Support facility.

Babcock’s Chief Executive Officer Australasia David Ruff said Babcock is now the largest provider of strategic high frequency communications in the world and the EDHFCS upgrade will create high-tech jobs, most of which will be located in Adelaide.

“Together with existing defence programs such as AIR2025 JORN, this will create an economic cluster in High Frequency technologies in South Australia,” he said.

“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 ADF and its allies is an essential requirement for military operations.

“Our selection reinforces confidence in our ability to bring together complex and critical digital defence capability to meet the needs of our customers, an area of increasing importance to our global customers.”

Babcock’s principal partner for the program, Lockheed Martin Australia will support Babcock 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 role in the delivery of the program, with the majority of works to be completed in Australia, by Australian companies.

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 that will ensure Australia’s EDHFCS will remain current and ready to support the ADF whenever and wherever it is needed.


Image: Supplied. Mr Tony Burger, Ms Belinda Templeman, Mr David Ruff and Mr Andrew Cridland. [L-R] The ADF’s High Frequency Communication System (DHFCS) is set for a major capability upgrade under a 10-year program to be delivered by Babcock Australasia.