Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today announced he has given Combined Pass approval for an interim Tactical Data Link for the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters in service with the Australian Army.
Under LAND 2089 Phase 3B, a total of 21 Tiger helicopters will be upgraded with a tactical information exchange solution that further integrates the Tiger into the combined arms land force battlespace.
“The interim Tactical Data Link will improve the Tiger’s situational awareness in the battlespace by improving the helicopter’s ability to receive in flight tactical positioning of friendly and known enemy forces,” Senator Johnston said.
“Through this data link the Tigers will be able to share targeting information, coordinate battlefield movements and tactical objectives, and transmit real-time reconnaissance information between the aircraft and the land forces.”
Senator Johnston said the project will also inform potential future upgrades for the Tiger that will deliver a fully integrated tactical data link solution after 2020, building on the existing lessons provided by this interim configuration.
The acquisition is valued at less than $20 million and will include the associated training and support to fully enable a Tactical Data Link capability.
Industry opportunities for this project in acquisition will be predominantly managed by Elbit Systems Australia, as the software and battle management system developer, and Airbus Group Australia Pacific, who will conduct the aircraft technical modification works.
Through life support to the project will be managed under existing contract arrangements relating to the particular components of the tactical data link capability.
Senator Johnston said the upgrade was an important step in the continued enhancement and modernisation of the ADF as a well-rounded, integrated, and capable modern fighting force.