Posted: May 26, 2017 11:00 AM

BAE Systems Australia Begins $30 Million SATCOM Upgrade for RAN

EDINBURGH, Australia — BAE Systems Australia will deliver a major capability improvement to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with the upgrade of maritime satellite communications terminals in a four-year, $30 million project, the company said in a May 25 release.

The upgrade of maritime satellite communications terminals — dubbed MASTIS, or Maritime element of the Advanced SATCOM Terrestrial Infrastructure System — will provide a major enhancement to RAN operations and life at sea.

The upgrade will be undertaken at BAE Systems facilities at Edinburgh Parks in South Australia and North Ryde in Sydney, and will result in the creation of up to 20 new jobs. The upgrade is an extension to BAE Systems Australia’s existing MASTIS support contract.

The upgrade will be achieved through the delivery of vastly increased bandwidth which will provide more efficient usage of defense satellite capacity and enhanced network interoperability between ships, aircraft and land based platforms.

The MASTIS terminals are equipped with two antennas are capable of transmitting and receiving in X- and Ka-bands simultaneously, and they are able to connect to two different satellites at the same time.

This dual-band, dual-antenna approach will provide the RAN with advanced SATCOM availability and a substantial increase in the ship's data capabilities, even under heavy interference conditions.

“The upgrade will provide the RAN with a capability edge that will significantly improve its ability to keep our nation safe by providing the very latest in satellite communications interoperability,” said Glynn Phillips, chief executive of Australia, BAE Systems.

MASTIS terminals are fitted in three variants in the RAN fleet, including the dual antenna terminal variant fitted to Landing Helicopter Dock ships and Air Warfare Destroyers. The upgrade addresses all of the RAN’s in-service MASTIS fleet of 17 ship fitted systems and 1 training suite.

MASTIS terminals were designed, developed and delivered by BAE Systems and entered service in 2005. The upgrade will see BAE Systems working with AIRBUS Defense and Space, which supplied a significant portion of the original terminals wincluding the three-axis stabilized antenna system.

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