This week we look at an update in direction for JP 9102, the Australian Defence Satellite Communication System. This project aims to deliver a system which will enable the joint command and control of deployed Joint Task Forces through resilient and responsive communications beyond the range and capacity of other communication systems. This week Defence issued a notice advising of a delay in RFT release date originally planned for this month, but now delayed by 4-6 weeks.
The Defence SATCOM system is expected to primarily cover an area of the globe taking in Australia, all of Southeast and East Asia bounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans, running in a straight line along 90° to 160° East longitude, and 70° North and 60° South latitudes. Key requirements of the system include level flexibility, with the capability needing to be able to be reconfigured in response to both geopolitical and emerging operational circumstances; and to develop and adapt to changing technology, threats and operational needs over its lifetime. However initial advice that required Defence ownership of the system for compliance has changed, Defence are now open to considering non-Defence owned Satellites as an option.
A few key points to note for any potential tenderers:
– Defence’s core capability requirements will remain common to both satellite ownership models including the requirement for Defence control of the entire system
– Tender responses will be required to include a separate costed option for non-Defence ownership of the Satellites.
– The Project is releasing an RFT Data Pack to potential tenderers who have already complied with the requirements detailed in a previous AusTender Notice. Requirements included appropriate personnel, facilities and ICT security clearances, Third Party Retransfer authorisation obtained for relevant export controlled items and an Access Deed was correctly executed and returned to the Project.
An industry brief will be held following the release of the RFT, and an opportunity for one on one meetings with Prime Contractors. The delay in the RFT release is a good opportunity for interested companies to engage with potential primes and establish industry partnerships for the future procurement.