7th Combat Signal Regiment are one of three units to be the first to receive the next-gen battlespace communication system (along with the network access module pictured). Image via Boeing website.

Austest Laboratories has been selected to test the strength and durability of equipment designed for Project Currawong for Boeing Defence Australia. The testing programme involves a series of extensive environmental and EMI/EMC tests performed on the new Battlespace Communications System (BCS) developed by Boeing Defence Australia for Australian Defence Force (ADF) as part of LAND 2072 Phase 2B project, over several months.

The new Currawong system represents the next generation of Australian military communication which will provide ADF commanders and soldiers a significantly increased level of situation awareness, command, control and information sharing capability.

Austest Laboratories was engaged by Boeing Defence Australia to carry out formal acceptance testing, with Commonwealth witnesses, following the successful conclusion of a preliminary testing programme completed in March 2017.

The Currawong Battlespace Communications System is designed, developed and built by Australians for the ADF, so our decision to select Australian-based Austest Laboratories for environmental testing represents our continued support of local suppliers,” said Lee Davis, Boeing Currawong program director.

As the ADF requires the new system to be capable of worldwide deployment from Antarctica through to the Middle East, the testing activities encompass a wide range of environmental simulations, as well as exposure to mechanical stresses likely to occur during the deployment of the equipment such as vibration, shock and drop. All of the required extreme conditions such as low and high temperatures, humidity, pressure, high altitude, rain, dust and corrosive environments are simulated using state-of-the art test facilities located at Austests’ Sydney laboratory.

In addition to environmental simulations, Austest Labs is also subjecting Currawong equipment to various EMI/EMC tests in order to validate its compliance with relevant military standards. Both environmental and EMC testing is carried out concurrently in Austest Laboratories Sydney facility, which significantly simplifies logistics and scheduling of the testing programme.

Austest Laboratories is currently the only independent and formally accredited testing facility within Australia capable of providing a complete range of environmental and EMC testing to military standards at a single location.

“Austest Laboratories is proud to support Boeing Defence Australia and the Australian defence industry in general, with our capabilities the culmination of several years and substantial investment in Austest’s facilities,” said Martin Garwood, Managing Director of Austest Laboratories.

Initial operational capability (IOC) of the new system is expected to be achieved in 2018 and final operational capability (FOC) in 2020.

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