Optus, Thales, Raytheon to make combined bid for Defence Satellite Comms tender

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Optus, Thales, Raytheon to make combined bid for Defence Satellite Comms tender

Optus is set to lead a joint bid with aerospace electronics vendor Raytheon Australia and electrical systems vendor Thales Australia for the Department of Defence’s JP9102 tender for a Satellite Communication System.

Commenting on the bid, Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said, “As sector pioneers and the leading investor in the Australian space industry, our solution will leverage our long track record of delivering for Australia’s Defence agencies, supporting Australian industry capabilities, and our unwavering commitment to deliver a sovereign solution that enhances Australia’s security.

“The bid team, Team AUSSAT, has a unique proposition being the only team with an unrivalled history of owning and operating satellites in Australia, by Australians, for Australians – drawing synergies from two partner companies with their exceptional pedigrees in building and delivering world-class Defence capabilities.”

Since 1985, Optus said it launched 10 satellites, operated 13 spacecraft, and provided support to over 100 international space programs. 

Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward said, “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Optus and Thales Australia to provide a next-generation satellite technology solution, and we look forward to offering our global space surveillance and operation capabilities to the Australian Government through this important partnership.”

Thales Australia chief executive Chris Jenkins said that the combined team would deliver a genuine sovereign Australian capability with the global reach to access world leading space technology from Europe and the USA.

“Thales Australia has been a trusted partner of the ADF for more than three decades, delivering advanced secure communication solutions, and we’re proud to partner with Optus and Raytheon Australia on this project.”

Ms Kelly Bayer Rosmarin added the bid provides a unique opportunity to grow Australian skills in a high-tech sector.

“Through Team AUSSAT’s bid, we will bring the best solution, capabilities and experience for the benefit of Australia, and the safety and security of all Australians.”

“We also have a unique opportunity to position Australia as a global leader in the space industry by growing our capabilities in STEM, leveraging Optus’ existing partnerships with local universities and providing opportunities for graduates to transition into the sector.”

Optus said that it has flown the C1 Satellite since 2003, which provides capabilities for Defence’s operations, and currently flies seven satellites with plans to deploy software-defined satellite Optus 11 in 2023 for Australia and New Zealand.

Optus Satellite’s main gateway is in Belrose (NSW) with other operations in Lockridge (WA); Hume (ACT); and Regency Park (SA).

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