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Army April 1, 2010
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
SOLDIERS from 7 Bde, 7RAR and
Special Operations Command will
be the first to receive new technol-
ogy that will revolutionise the way
the ADF conducts exercises and
fights future battles.
Defence signed a $349 million
contract on March 15 for the deliv-
ery of control and communications
(BGC3) systems to Army from 2011.
Under the project, soldiers will
be issued new digital radios, mil-
spec computers, GPS and rugged
displays, which will provide maps,
text messaging and enhanced overlay
The new technology will give
commanders and soldiers much
improved situational awareness and
provide wide access to navigation-
al information and enhanced radio
coverage. The system will provide
a secure network enabling mounted
and dismounted elements to view
location information and exchange
voice and data messages in real time.
Project Manager of Land 75
Phase 3.4 Battle Management System
(BMS) Lt-Col Roger Grose said the
new technology would be fitted to
1052 Army vehicles.
"Thiry-seven different variants of
Vehicle-mounted soldiers will use a small
computer terminal, new radios and upgraded
In command-post vehicles, soldiers will
use a new Harris 150 HF radio, a Harris 152
VHF radio and the UHF Extended Frequency
Enhanced Position Locating Reporting
System (EPLRS) radio.
Dismounted soldiers will use a small
ruggedised personal data unit (PDU) con-
taining a computer that a number of devices
can plug into. Also an optional eight-inch
display tablet for data entry and an optional
keyboard for large volumes of data entry can
also be carried.
The new radio systems purchased are
the most advanced of their type available in
the world. The new VHF and UHF radio will
replace three current radio fleets; Raven,
Wagtail and Pintail with a common device
the size of a Pintail, but much more capable
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NEW BMS
Bushmasters, Macks, Unimogs, G-
Wagons and M113s will be config-
ured to carry the equipment," Lt-Col
"Fifteen hundred dismounted sol-
dier-portable systems will also be
delivered with a number of com-
mand-post systems for use in vehi-
cles and by dismounted soldiers
using the portable system."
SO1 CISEW Development in
AHQ Lt-Col Steve Frankel said the
first soldiers to receive and be trained
in the use of the equipment would be
from Gallipoli Barracks.
"A 7 Bde infantry company
will be the first to receive the battle
management system to be mounted
in their Bushmasters, the soldier-
portable dismounted system and new
radios," Lt-Col Frankel said. "The rest
of 7 Bde, less the ASLAV component
of 2/14 LHR (QMI), 7RAR and a
special operations task group from
special operations command will be
next to receive the equipment."
In this phase of the project, train-
ing will begin early next year.
Lt-Col Grose said it was estimat-
ed that 3500 soldiers would receive
training by the end of 2012.
"By 2020 the four phases of the
project will be complete and the
whole of Army will have equipment
and the capability."
Lt-Col Frankel said the exact
design of the soldier-portable dis-
mounted BMS was not yet finalised,
but details would be published as they
"This phase will incorporate feed-
back from soldiers from 1 Bde and 7
Bde, who will test prototypes before
deliveries begin next year," he said.
Defence Personnel, Materiel and
Science Minister Greg Combet said
the equipment would increase the
ADF's battlespace awareness, auto-
mate combat messaging and assist in
the successful conduct of operations.
"Importantly, this capability will
significantly reduce the risk of casu-
alties from friendly fire," he said.
Upgrade: New comms technology
will be fitted to 1052 vehicles.
Under microscope: This file photo of trials in 2008 shows a soldier using
a battle management monocle. Soldiers will be able to see high-resolution
images of maps and data, which can be manipulated using fingertip
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