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Defence outs ship comms, air traffic refurb

The Australian Defence Force is set to spend between $300 and $500 million on new ship-to-ship communications systems, and up to $150 million on a new air traffic management system under new upgrade and refurbishment projects announced on Friday.

The Australian Defence Force is set to spend between $300 and $500 million on new ship-to-ship communications systems, and up to $150 million on a new air traffic management system under new upgrade and refurbishment projects announced on Friday.

Battleship

(You sunk my battleship image by Derek Gavey, CC 2.0)

The plan will see the communications systems of the Navy's eight Anzac-class frigates modernised to support faster ship-to-ship information transfer in combat.

"The new modern systems will enable faster information transfer between Navy's ships which is essential in modern war-fighting," Minister of Defence Warren Snowdon said.

The new air traffic management project announced by the minister will see a new system for monitoring airspace in any active deployment zone.

"The air traffic management and control systems could be deployed in a range of situations including in the event of a natural disaster or to support humanitarian relief efforts," the minister added.

The two projects have both received First Pass Approval from the government but won't be fully approved until the period between 2012 /13 and 2014 /2015.

The communications system overhaul and the air traffic management systems were announced in tandem with a plan to refurbish the Air Force's long serving F/A‑18A/B Hornet fighter planes.