Senator the Hon. Robert Hill,
Minister for Defence
Leader of the Government in the Senate
NEW ERA OF DEFENCE
LAUNCHED INTO SPACE
Defence is heading towards a new era of operational communications following the successful launch of the C1 satellite from French Guiana today, Defence Minister Robert Hill said.
The C1 satellite will be used for both Defence and commercial communications, with the two separate payloads operated independently to ensure there can be no mix-up of data.
"The satellite will provide Defence with a substantial increase in our communications capability across Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region," Senator Hill said.
"This means that mobile and deployed forces will be able to transfer command and control information and access larger volumes of data and at higher speeds which is essential to modern warfighting. "Access to satellite bandwidth was identified as a key issue for Australian Defence Force personnel deployed to the Middle East as part of the coalition to disarm Iraq – probably the first of the 21st century conflicts fought as much by technology as by our troops. The ADF needed enough bandwidth to pass quick, accurate, high-density data in and out of the Gulf around the clock to strategic, operational and tactical commanders. These same requirements apply in our immediate neighbourhood where the C1 satellite will provide increased communications capacity for the ADF."
Senator Hill congratulated both Defence and Optus for the success of the project, which has been five years in the making.
Defence is utilising Optus’ considerable expertise in acquiring and operating communications satellites and both parties obtain significant financial benefit from sharing the considerable costs of embarking on such a project. Defence and Optus have equal responsibility for the C1 satellite under an agreement established to guide the two organisations in the shared management of the satellite during its expected 15-plus years of life.
Orbit raising of the satellite will take approximately 10 days and this will be followed by 23 days of in-orbit testing. When in-orbit testing has been completed, the satellite will be drifted to its operational orbit. Defence operational use of the satellite is expected to start in late July 2003.
Fixed ground infrastructure for the control and management of the satellite has been installed at Optus and Defence facilities in both Sydney and Canberra.
Printer friendly version