Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2016 Contents GERALDTON
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elements of the ADF. Phase 5B.2 will provide
the Satellite Ground Station East and a Network
According to the Defence Capability Plan 2012
(the latest available) “The strategy for Phase
3H is to acquire terminal capabilities through
tender, focusing on terminals that have achieved
WGS certification. Industry requirements will
be based around utilising Australian industry to
undertake a range of through-life maintenance
and support activities.” 3H is the forerunner to
Phase 5B.1, which received Second Pass Approval
in March 2015 and is contracted to Raytheon
and its sub-contractor L-3 Communications for
transportable land terminals and comprises of
small, medium and large transportable terminals as
well as tactical and strategic hubs.
The sum of all this activity is that Defence is
making a serious and sustained effort to build up
its satellite communication facilities. Therefore the
new teleport at Kojarena can be seen as a next
step in the evolution of a sophisticated real-time
communication program enabling the ADF to have
worldwide real time C4I.
The Kojarena Teleport will provide interoperability
between multiple satellite communications systems
and deployed networks in support of tactical
communication systems users who may be from the
US, Australia or other permitted coalition partners.
It is designed to provide the warfighter with access
to the US Defense Information System Network
(DISN) through Kojarena and other teleport sites in
the US (Hawaii and Virginia) and Europe (Italy) to
any geographical location worldwide via military or
commercial satellites and frequency bands.
UNITED STATES TELEPORT
According to the Defense Information Systems
Agency (DISA), which is implementing the
Department of Defense Teleport System “The
system will integrate, manage, and control a variety
of communications interfaces between the DISN
terrestrial and tactical satellite communications
(SATCOM) assets at a single point of presence.
‘The Teleport System is a telecommunications
collection and distribution point that provides
deployed warfighters with multiband, multimedia,
and worldwide reach-back capabilities to the
DISN that far exceed current capabilities. Teleport
is an extension of the Standardized Tactical
Entry Point (STEP) program, which currently
provides reach-back for deployed warfighters via
the Defense Satellite Communications System
(DSCS) X-band satellites.
‘This new system provides additional connectivity
via multiple military and commercial SATCOM
systems and provides a seamless interface into the
DISN. The system provides inter-and intra-theater
communications through a variety of SATCOM
choices and increased DISN access capabilities.’
Since 2002 the system has been implemented
in three phases. It took six years to design added
capabilities to fit in with the STEP program and
provide satellite connectivity. Towards the end of
this period, there was a slight overlap, from 2006
onwards, with the implementation of additional
ground terminals to interface with the Wideband
Global System (WGS) and provide increased
data throughput. A netcentric capability was also
implemented during this period.
From 2010 to the present day the focus has
been on implementing Advanced Extremely High
Frequency Extended Data capability. APDR had the
opportunity to be briefed on this program during
a visit to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Company in Santa Clara, California and subsequently
join in the celebrations of the successful AEHF-3
satellite launch. This phase also enhances the WGC
capability to warfighters worldwide.
Currently interoperability between Mobile User
Objective System (MUOS) users (which is like a
military smartphone system) and Legacy UHF users
is being provided through gateway component
suites of equipment at teleport gateway sites,
including Kojarena in the future.
Defence’s 2016 Integrated Investment program
discussed the acquisition and deployment of
seven MQ-4C Tritons with supporting intelligence,
surveillance and control systems.
‘The Triton, including the necessary supporting
intelligence, surveillance and control systems, will
be upgraded throughout its life to ensure it stays
at the leading edge of technology and maintains
commonality with United States systems for
supportability. Additional facilities will be required at
RAAF Bases Edinburgh and Tindal. Enhancements
will be required to information and communications
technology networks and satellite communications
capacity and interfaces to other Australian specific
capabilities and systems.’ (Section 1.13)
The Geraldton Gateway allows US and Australian
forces better access to the WGS, MUOS and future
US military satellite-based systems connecting to
the Pentagon’s Global Information Grid. This is key
to US plans for introducing armed and surveillance
drones like Predator and Triton to Indian Ocean and
southeast Asian waters.
Clearly the new Geraldton capabilities will
be important in deploying Tritons effectively,
and coordinating them with the P-8A Poseidon
maritime patrol aircraft. These two important
new platforms will revolutionise sea and land
surveillance and response around Australia and
its contiguous oceans.
Australia is already a serious user of satellite systems
for ADF communications and geospatial imagery.
When the existing WGS capabilities are linked
through the Combined Communications Gateway
Geraldton teleport, ADF warfighting and ISR units
will be able to participate in near real-time network
centric warfare with US forces.
This will be a serious step-up in capability,
fitting into a future time when F-35 Lightning
II and Wedgetail AEWS aircraft will form the
backbone of our fighting air force, while air warfare
destroyers offer a ballistic missile defence and
join with other naval combat platforms, including
submarines, to protect our amphibious assets
and personnel. Any land-based combat elements
will also benefit significantly.
Australian politicians need to strenuously protect
the possibility of an independent foreign policy and
freedom to undertake military action, not hamstrung
by the wishes of US Congress and US forces
commanders. Could there be a future need for this?
Australia paid $1 billion for the sixth satellite in the US Wideband
Global SATCOM (WGS) system, giving the ADF access to the whole
of WGS for its communications.
The sum of all this activity is that Defence is making a serious and
sustained effort to build up its satellite communication facilities.
25/10/2016 9:44 AM
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