Satel­lite sta­tion to mon­i­tor bor­ders

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA will re­ceive a $ 223 mil­lion satel­lite ground sta­tion in a hi- tech boost to bor­der pro­tec­tion stem­ming the tide of peo­ple smug­glers.

The new fa­cil­ity, to be built in NSW, will work in tan­dem with a sim­i­lar sta­tion in West­ern Aus­tralia to give Aus­tralia’s De­fence Force a bet­ter pic­ture of what’s hap­pen­ing on the high seas.

It will also pro­vide satel­lite im­agery to guide Aus­tralian mar­itime pa­trols in the con­tentious South China Sea as part of Op­er­a­tion Gate­way.

De­fence In­dus­try Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne, who will an­nounce the project to­day, said it would be com­pleted in four years. “The satel­lite ground sta­tion will en­able de­ployed forces across the Pa­cific and In­dian Ocean re­gion to con­nect to De­fence’s strate­gic in­for­ma­tion net­works back in Aus­tralia,” Mr Pyne said.

“The tech­nol­ogy will as­sist bor­der pro­tec­tion pa­trols.”

The $ 223 mil­lion con­tract, awarded to Northrop Grum­man Aus­tralia, also in­cludes a new satel­lite net­work man­age­ment sys­tem.

The satel­lite sta­tion will be built near ex­ist­ing De­fence bar­racks in Kapooka at Wagga Wagga. If it is ap­proved by the par­lia­men­tary works com­mit­tee, the project is ex­pected to be fin­ished by 2021.

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