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Australia and United States defence satellite communications cooperation at Geraldton.

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Issued by Coordination and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT Phone: 02 6265 3343, Fax: 02 62656946

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CPA 238/08 Monday, 21 July 2008


Construction activity is expected to commence on a joint Australian and United States defence satellite communications ground station at the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (ADSCS) Geraldton in the third quarter of 2008.

The joint ground station will support the US Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), which is a satellite-based mobile phone network designed to support US, Australian and allied military users. Governance arrangements for the ground station

were concluded in October 2007 and, as with all joint facilities in Australia, this system will be operated with the full knowledge and concurrence of the Australian Government.

The MUOS ground station will comprise three small buildings housing the electronic infrastructure; power and spares; three 18-metre satellite dishes; and two smaller antennas. Once complete, it will be unmanned and will require only call-out contractor maintenance support.

A Satellite Communications Partnership Statement of Principles was signed at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in February 2008, committing both governments to explore options to enhance joint access to satellite communications capabilities and to encourage greater technical collaboration in this field. As part of this agreement Australia and the US are exploring the hosting of a United States Army Fixed Regional Hub Node on land adjacent to the ADSCS Geraldton and discussing opportunities for the joint use of this capability.

Satellite communications are vital to the Australian Defence Force and our security. The United States is a world leader in the field of commercial and military satellite communications technology. Our collaboration provides Australia with increased access to US global communications capabilities as well as technical partnering, shared infrastructure and support services for our joint satellite communications projects.

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664