Boeing and BMT demonstrate maritime network prototype
February 9, 2023
Photo: Australia Defence Magazine
Boeing and its maritime engineering partner, BMT have successfully tested an Australian-developed maritime communications system that will enhance RAN major fleet unit connectivity and advance joint force capabilities.
The Maritime Warfighter Network is an evolution of Boeing’s Integrated Battlespace Telecommunications Network (I-BTN), which has been adapted to meet the unique operational and seaworthiness requirements of the RAN.
“Together, we demonstrated the system’s high-level technical and operational capabilities, designed to provide scalable, distributed data services to the ADF,” said Murray Brabrook, director Joint Systems, Boeing Defence Australia. “The maturity of our technology will ensure the shortest path to a minimal viable product and provide sovereign control to evolve the network in line with Navy’s emerging needs.”
During the test, the team validated its networking and management software, incorporating meshed broadband line-of-sight radios and wired and wireless shore connectivity, known as NINShore.
It also demonstrated task group, joint, and strategic connectivity and resilience using multiple platform bearers; a key requirement of the ADF’s Joint Black Core Network.
“Boeing’s I-BTN has been in service with the ADF for the past five years, offering Navy a low-risk path to joint, allied and coalition interoperability,” said Brabrook. “Rapid test and integration activities are key to our proven execution strategy, lowering technical risk and accelerating deployed combat-ready capability.”
As part of system evolution, BMT is providing operator feedback and assessing hardware suitability for the maritime environment.
“Having supported similar projects across the entire Australian naval fleet, we are experts at integrating complex systems into maritime platforms that will stand up to the rigours of sea deployment,” said Graeme Nayler, Regional Business director, APAC, BMT.
“Our work in supporting the capability lifecycle and managing system integration across the maritime domain is absolutely critical to ensuring we provide a resilient, evolvable communications system that supports the Navy’s ability to maintain a warfighting edge.
Further test and integration events are planned for 2023 to mature and de-risk the system, as well as assure simultaneous interoperability with legacy, coalition, allied, joint and at-sea experimentation networks.