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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.