JP 2072: Up to A$800M for Australian C4ISR Land Project
General Dynamics Canada, along with its Australian partners ADI Limited and Tenix Defence, has been selected as the Preferred Prime System Integrator for the first phase of Australia’s Battlespace Communications System (Land) project, referred to as JP 2072. Phase I is valued at AUS $97 million (USD $74 million), and the project as a whole has a potential value of AUS $800 million (USD $608 million) if all options are exercised.
Five bidding teams had emerged in this competition:
- General Dynamics Canada teamed with leading Australian defense companies ADI Limited and Tenix Defence. ADI is Australia’s largest defence company, with over 2,500 employees. GD Canada had developed the Canadian IRIS tactical communications system on which the United Kingdom’s BOWMAN is based, and supported teams led by other General Dynamics units on several key U.S. battlefield communication system programs like Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Cluster 5 effort.
- BAE Systems Australia is the incumbent on the existing Australian Raven, Wagtail and Parakeet communications systems. They pitched themselves as a PSI without a commitment to specific equipment vendors.
- Raytheon Australia, promoted its own experience supporting the U.S. Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below effort, aka. “Blue Force Tracker.” That system displays the position of all allied units in real time. The U.S. program’s prime contractor Northrop Grumman was included on its team.
- Nordic companies Kongsberg and Ericsson offered expertise in combat net radio and trunk communications technology from outside the United States.
- IBM also has submitted a solution.
The GD Canada press release notes that the company has established a new entity named General Dynamics Systems Australia. Located in Canberra, this entity will serve as the focus for JP 2072 related work. As subsequent phases of the program emerge, the new Australia-based organization will grow to include the engineering capabilities and integration facilities necessary to progressively update and support JP 2072 and associated projects, while meeting the objectives of Australia’s indsustrial Defence Electronics Sector Plan.
JP 2072 is intended to be a deployable, scalable, secure and integrated battlespace communications system that allows ground forces to exchange information across all combat elements, improving soldiers’ safety and their ability to accomplish their missions. The system had to meet the existing and emerging information exchange requirements of command support, intelligence, offensive fire, logistics, ground-based air defence and sensor-linked weapon systems.
The program has been divided into three linked phases that will last until at least 2016. Work will initially focus on delivering an improved capability sufficient to equip a brigade-size joint task force (JTF), and then will be rolled out across the armed forces in parallel with successive technology refreshes over several years.
Phase one was approved in 2001, and development of the request for tender was completed in 2003. That document was released in January 2004, and contract signature is expected in December of 2005. Equipment delivery is not expected to begin until 2006.
The team selected as prime system integrator will thus have a twofold task: to deliver an initial acquisition designed to fill immediate capability gaps, described as ‘selective solutions’ in the JTF; and to provide a systems-level overview and detailed path for the overall program as part of the project definition study.
This system will play an important role in Australia’s plans for network centric warfare, which were finally unveiled in detail in Australia’s NWC Roadmap 2005.
- JP 2072 Request for Tender, copied on Industry Canada’s Strategis web site
- Signal Magazine (Aug 2004) – Australia Builds Future Tactical Network
Hat tip to DID reader Andy Baker, a fan of Australia’s fine Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle pictured above. Thanks for the photo sourcing tips, and the generous feedback.