Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited (“EOS” or “Company”) (ASX: EOS) is pleased to announce a A$34.4m contract award by the Commonwealth of Australia for the Command Control Communications and Computers – Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE) program, with EOS Defence Systems (EOS DS) as the Prime Contractor for an all-Australian industry consortium to demonstrate a sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command system (“BG-BCS”).
This commitment by the Morrison Government and the Australian Army will support the development of innovative local businesses capable of providing our armed forces with the critical, world-leading communications solutions they will require into the future.
EOS DS will lead 18 Australian businesses in the C4 EDGE program to demonstrate local industry’s ability to provide battle critical communications solutions for the land domain.
The program will leverage the expertise and cutting-edge technologies of the all-Australian industry team that includes small and medium enterprises from across the nation. As the prime contractor, EOS DS will integrate these components to demonstrate a sovereign BG-BCS for the Army in November 2021.
The C4 EDGE solution will see EOS DS incorporate locally-sourced combat radios, satellite terminals, cryptography, networking middleware, command applications, user interfaces, batteries and power management into a coherent system. The program will utilise Australian design, production, workforce, intellectual property and supply chain in the development and demonstration of this capability.
A successful C4 EDGE capability will help address the Army’s significant future requirements for sovereign communications systems. The Government’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update lays out an investment pipeline for battlefield communications and command systems of between A$5.0bn and $7.5bn1 over the next 20 years.
EOS welcomes this opportunity to prime a complex project that incorporates highly capable local businesses into Australia’s defence industry – introducing industry best practices and advanced technologies from parallel sectors and supporting business diversification. EOS will assist those companies new to the industry to understand and respond to Defence contracting accreditation requirements.
The Commonwealth contract will create approximately 53 new fulltime jobs across the country over the next 12 months. EOS will begin executing subcontracts before the end of 2020 to enable payments to flow to these businesses quickly, supporting their ability to invest, scale and access export opportunities.
Announcing the contract, Grant Sanderson, CEO of EOS Defence Systems, said:
“The C4 EDGE team represents the collaborative effort of world-class Australian companies for the benefit of the Australian Defence Force.
The design, development and demonstration of the C4 EDGE solution over the next year will showcase the ability of Australian companies to produce high-tech materiel which EOS will integrate with its own technologies into world-class military systems.
The program provides a model to continue growing a capable, connected and resilient sovereign defence industry that employs more Australians.”