BAE Systems Australia is to deliver a major capability enhancement to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in upgrading maritime satellite communications (SATCOM) terminals known as Maritime element of the Advanced SATCOM Terrestrial Infrastructure System (MASTIS).

The four-year contract, valued at $30 million, is an extension to the company’s existing MASTIS support contract and will be achieved through the delivery of vastly increased bandwidth, providing more efficient use of defence satellite capacity and enhanced network interoperability between platforms. MASTIS terminals have two antennae capable of transmission and reception in X- and Ka-band simultaneously and therefore able to connect to two separate satellites at the same time.

The upgrade will address all 17 shipsets (and one training suite), including the dual antenna variant fitted to the RAN’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessels and Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD). BAE Systems designed, developed and delivered the MASTIS terminals, which entered service in 2005. The upgrade will see the company work closely with Airbus Defence and Space, which supplied a significant portion of the original terminals, including the three-axis stabilised antenna system.

BAE Systems is commencing a $30 million upgrade of the RAN’s satellite communications capabilities. (Photo: BAE Systems)

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