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Invitations to tender for provision of new defence strategic communications network



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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1979. NO. 22/79

INVITATIONS TO TENDER FOR PROVISION OF

NEW DEFENCE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK

Five companies have been selected as tenderers

for the first stage of the Defence Integrated Secure

Communication Network {DISCON).

The Minister for Defence, Mr D.J. Killen, today

announced that, subject to further discussions

Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation (USA),

Litton Data Systems (USA),

L.M. Ericsson (Australia),

Piessey (Australia), and

Rockwell-Collins (USA) .

would be invited to tender. The schedule for Phase 1 of

DISCON was planned to be released early this year.

Particular attention would be paid to the

progressive expansion of Australian industry capability

in digital communications during the course of the DISCON

project.

Therefore companies would not only be required to

demonstrate that they possessed the technical competence

needed to meet the requirement, but that they also could

meet an initial Australian industry participation level

of at least 30 per cent, expanding to at least 60 per

cent as the project proceeded. .../2

2 -

Mr Killen said that industry capability was

expected to expand to meet the long term requirement for a

measure of self-sufficiency for the continued maintenance

and development of the new digital network. Areas specifically

designated for local industry activity were terminal facilities,

transmission and switching system software.

The project, which is estimated to cost over

$100 million, has already had Government approval of

funding allocation in excess of $40 million for the first

two phases of the new network, which comprise the Queensland

and Victorian regions. Phase 1 is expected to cost about

$24 million.

An invitation to register interest for tendering

was issued in October, 1977, and a Request for a Proposal

was forwarded to companies registering as potential prime

contractors in November, 1977. This provisional short list

follows evaluation of the proposals submitted by those

companies in May, 1978.

The new system will be a multi-purpose network

providing secure, strategic, communications for the Defence

Force by telephone, telegraph and facsimile and for data on

a nation-wide basis. Installation is planned to proceed

throughout the 1980s.

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Further Inquiries: Bruce Davis 65 2999 (office hours) ■ --- ---- : --- --- 1 -- 82 2270 (after hours)