05 Jun 2017

Australian Department of Defence extends Optus satellite contract

The Australian Department of Defence has reached a new $40M, ten-year agreement with its satellite communications provider, Optus.

Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, has welcomed the extension of Defence’s C1 satellite partnership with Australia’s second largest telecommunications company well into the next decade.

Minister Payne said Optus had provided satellite communication services to Defence through the Optus C1 satellite and on-board Defence Payload System since 2003. The extended arrangements with Optus provide a prolonged capacity to continue to support Defence, other Australian Government agencies, and international partners.

The contract includes the necessary preparation of ground infrastructure within Optus facilities at Belrose, NSW and Lockridge, WA as well as operating and sustainment costs associated with continued use of Optus C1.

Minister Payne said: “Optus will reconfigure the C1 satellite to operate in an inclined orbit to reduce on-board fuel usage and extend the life of the satellite as far as 2027. The existing agreement with Optus was due to expire in 2020 coinciding with the satellite’s anticipated end-of-life.

“The Optus C1 satellite partnership will provide Australian Defence Force users additional satellite communications capacity throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The extended use of Optus C1 will preserve Australia’s orbital filing precedence and options to place future satellite communications capabilities within the region.

“The agreement assists Defence and the Government to preserve Australia’s right to continue to operate in the radio-frequency spectrum from space until such a time as Government elects an alternative course of action.”


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