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New radios for the Defence Force



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FRIDAY, JULY 30, 1982 NO. 117/82

NEW RADIOS FOR THE DEFENCE FORCE

A $7 million contract has been awarded to

Plessey Australia Pty Ltd as part of a major project to

equip the Australian Defence Force with modern high frequency

(HF) and very high frequency (VHF) combat radios.

The Acting Minister for Defence and Minister for

Defence Support, Mr Ian Viner, said that a contract for the

project, called Raven, had been signed today.

The Raven system would consist of separate HF

and VHF radio families with appropriate power amplifiers and

antennas. The system would also have a range of common

ancillaries including handsets, headsets, remote control

units, data and message entry devices and a solar battery

charging capability.

Raven would, replace the current range of combat

radios bought, from the United States, UK and Australian

sources, prior to and during the Vietnam conflict. This

equipment is approaching obsolescence, is difficult to

maintain and does not provide all the facilities and .

capabilities needed for the modern battlefield.

Issued by the Directorate of Public Relations, Department of Defence,Canberra ACT, 2600

The contract is for the third phase of Project

Raven and calls for development of the HF part of the Raven

system, and preparation of production facilities. Earlier

phases of the project involved target studies by Australian

industry, and definition studies to refine the requirement.

It is anticipated that the radios will be introduced

into service in 1986.

Mr Viner- said that the Raven radios would be

matched to the specific needs of the Australian Defence Force.

They would exploit the latest developments in design and

high technology and would be resistant to electronic counterĀ­

measures. They would be designed to operateĀ· reliably in .

the harsh Australian environment, particularly in heat and

dust and would be capable of being partly maintained in

the field by soldiers with minimum technical training.

He said a major objective of Project Raven was

to foster the long term capability of the Australian

electronic industry in support of the Australian Defence Force.

The contractor had undertaken to meet or exceed the Government1s

requirement for at least 60 percent Australian Industry

Participation over the project as a whole. A wide variety

of Australian industry skills would be brought to bear.

As prime contractor, Plessey Australia Pty Ltd

would be responsible for directing the activities of several

Australian and overseas sub-contractors, including one in

New Zealand. The largest overseas input would come from

Plessey Avionics and Communications, of Ilford, England.

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The quantity of radios to be acquired had yet

to be decided but it could be up to a total of about 11,000

produced over about 10 years. The project cost was estimated

to be between $150 million and $200 million depending on the

total number eventually purchased. Overseas sales may well

be possible.

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Further Inquiries; Mr Bruce Davis 65 2913 (Direct) 65 2999 (Switchboard) . 82 2270 (After Hours)