12 April 2012
A Defence-hosted payload on an Intelsat communications satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, boosting the ADF's communications capability (all photos : Aus DoD)
A NEW SATELLITE was successfully launched in Kazakhstan last week, which will improve communications abilities for Australian Defence Force personnel operating in the Middle East.
The IS-22 satellite was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch was managed by Intelsat, an international satellite service provider.
The Australian Defence Force has purchased an Ultra High Frequency communications payload, which forms part of the satellite. More than 30 per cent of the satellite is dedicated to Australian Defence communications.
“This satellite means we will be able to transmit voice and data anywhere between the west coast of Africa and the east coast of Australia,” said Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare. “It will make it easier for commanders in Australia to provide troops on the ground with information faster and more effectively.
“It will also mean that troops can provide intelligence and information back to Headquarters.”
Currently, the ADF has limited use of United States’ satellites in this region.
The launch of the IS-22 means that Australia now has its own dedicated Defence satellite communications network in this region.
The satellite will also be used for commercial purposes, but Defence has put in place high level security measures including data encryption to protect ADF communication links.
The $269 million program has delivered the project on time and within budget. Intelsat is contracted to operate the satellite for 15 years after launch.