Project Currawong—formally known as JP 2072 Phase 2B—is delivering an integrated Battlefield Telecommunications Network (I-BTN) system (including on-the-move capability) to the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and potentially the Royal Australian Navy.
Due to the complex requirements involved in building a next generation defence communications system, prime contractor Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) and a network of mainly Australian suppliers have designed a new solution tailored around the needs of and in close collaboration with Army, RAAF and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG).
The I-BTN uses advanced technologies in satellite, radio and cyber to transfer secure data, voice and video communications between Australian headquarters and globally deployed forces. Being highly automated, secure, scalable, durable, mobile and flexible, Currawong provides advanced capability for the future battlespace. The network has revolutionised Australian Defence Force (ADF) communication and situational awareness through increased data exchange.
The contract with BDA—valued at more than $700 million—directly employs 230 Queenslanders, primarily from engineering. There are more than 700 additional Australian businesses, which provide electronic systems, mechanical services and hardware.
Due to its world-leading and varied capabilities, Currawong has the potential to create a global export opportunity for locally developed products.
New assembly and test facility in Queensland
A major project milestone was achieved with the commissioning of BDA’s purpose-built, state-of-the-art assembly and electromagnetic testing facility in Queensland—in Wacol, Brisbane—on 28 October 2019.
The $7.5 million facility is providing the necessary infrastructure to build and test the equipment to the ADF’s stringent environmental requirements. It also demonstrates how the Federal Government’s investment in Australia’s defence capability is creating new opportunities for local defence industry.
Leading Queensland-based suppliers
Local companies are helping to build the capability the Australian military needs as well as a thriving and self-sufficient defence industry.
- Complete Wiring Harnesses Pty Ltd
- Computer Merchants
- Frontline Manufacturing Pty Ltd
- Jade Engineering (Qld) Pty Ltd
- Metal Sign & Label Pty Ltd
- Powersafe Products
- Queensland Gaskets
- Reid Print Technologies
- Roboweld Services
- Shine Industries Pty Ltd
- B&R Enclosures Pty Ltd
- RF Technologies Aust Pty Ltd
- Masters and Young Pty Ltd
- Hetech Pty Ltd
- Intellidesign Pty Ltd
- Eniquest Pty Ltd
- Naeco Pty Ltd
- Ferra Engineering Pty Ltd
Links to other Queensland-based Defence projects
Based on scalable, modular computer architecture, the various components developed under Project Currawong can be incorporated into other defence platforms currently under development in Queensland, demonstrating how the state’s defence industry is continuing to grow in support of Defence and sovereign capability.
The selection of BDA’s Tactical Edge Server (TES) for inclusion in Rheinmetall’s BOXER 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) to be built in south-east Queensland under LAND 400 Phase 2 has brought growth opportunities for local small to medium enterprises (SMEs). BDA’s TES is a ruggedised, high performance computing and network device which was designed and built as part of Project Currawong and can be used across multiple programs. All its components were designed, developed and manufactured in Australia, meaning servicing can also be managed through a local supply chain.
BDA is also involved in the LAND 200 Tranche 2 project, which is providing the Australian Army with a new Battlefield Command System to enhance the ADF’s C4 systems. Queensland based L3Harris Technologies Australia is delivering the tactical communications network and Elbit Systems of Australia is enhancing the battle management system software. BDA is a major subcontractor to L3Harris, providing the network management system for that project.