C4 Edge Communications Program Commences

07 August 2020 | News

Australian sovereign C4 SMEs secure an unsolicited proposal with army for a new sovereign defence industry cooperative model

Seventeen Australian companies have joined the C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) Communications Program, to scope the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army.

The C4 EDGE program will leverage internationally agreed open standards to grow and demonstrate Australian C4 (command control communications and computers) industry capacity and ability to deliver a battlegroup and below C4 capability demonstration.

Ultimately, by the end of 2021 the program will have delivered a proof of concept demonstration that shows the capability of Australian industry to further develop a protected, integrated and supportable sovereign system: one that delivers agile and resilient C2 functionality to meet the flexible, scalable and interoperability needs of a battlegroup operating independently or with partners.

At an event held in Canberra yesterday ACT based companies 1LM, Insitec, Kord Defence, Outlander Solutions, Penten, SkyKraft and Xtec; contracted under the nation-wide program comprised of 17 businesses, were officially welcomed to Team C4 EDGE by Senator Zed Seselja (ACT) and EOS Defence Systems CEO Grant Sanderson.

Grant Sanderson who remarking on the program said:
“The C4 EDGE program is an innovative and creative initiative from the Australian Government and Army that demonstrates their commitment to improved Australian Industry engagement and opportunity. EOS feels very privileged to have the opportunity to lead this activity and help industry present their capabilities.”

Team members based in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, who were unable to participate in the event due to COVID-19 travel restrictions will be officially welcomed during a series of locally-arranged events and announcements next week.

Team C4 EDGE Statistics:

  • C4 EDGE is represented in six Australian states and one territory
  • 17 Australian C4 subject matter expert companies
  • 975 employees
  • Approx. $616M of annual gross turnover
  • Approx. $408M in annual global exports

Comments from ACT representatives:

Joel Deans, CEO, 1LM (providing specialist resourcing expertise):

“We are excited and honoured to be a part of this tremendous initiative showcasing sovereign Australian Defence capability. 1LM is proud to contribute its local domain knowledge and technical expertise to shape and manage the system design and engineering program.”

Michael Branch, CEO, Insitec MIS (providing application environment solutions):

“We are incredibly excited to be able to conduct this program with the Army and bring a fresh new 21st century approach to provisioning of capability to the soldiers of the ADF”.

Peter Moran, CEO, Kord Defence (providing push-button control technology):

“It is both an honour and a privilege to be working with so many innovative Australian companies in developing a communications capability that is not only unique but developed in Australia for Australian soldiers. Kord’s push-button control technology will enable the soldier to simply and easily operate this new communications technology without being distracted or putting themselves in harm’s way; a small, but important contribution to the overall effort.”

Bevan Jones, CEO/CTO, Outlander Solutions (providing soldier-networking technology):

“Building a smarter Australian manufacturing base is more critical now more than ever to our nation’s future. Facing global destabilisation and recessions, the need for local knowledge, local products and a rapid and responsive supplier base to support the ADF in defence and partnership within and around our continent is most critical. We welcome the opportunity to support our colleagues in the Australian Sovereign Industry, and welcome the support for Australian and Canberra’s advanced manufacture and product support to build investment and jobs here in Australia for now and a long term future.”

Matthew Wilson, CEO, Penten (providing encryption capability and security compliance):

“There is a grand opportunity for Australia to build its own domestic industry and the C4 Edge program will prove it’s possible. Australia is well placed to grow a sovereign industrial base and create competitive advantage through digital resilience. Here is an opportunity to use this momentum to steer Australia’s economic story. We are proud of what we are building as an industry. It’s possible that Australia can be the digital security leader in our region and be a reliable source of technology advantage to our allies, but first we need to be a customer of our own innovations.’’

James Prior, Managing Director, SkyKraft (providing space-based global services through constellations of small satellites):

“The C4 Edge Development Program represents a paradigm change in the Army’s approach for sovereign capability development. Australian businesses possess the skills, expertise, novel mindset and customer focus to create robust and innovative solutions for real world applications that will keep the Australian Defence Force on the front foot. Skykraft looks forward to the innovations that will be realised through the C4 Edge Program and the partnerships it represents.”

Philippe Odouard, MD, XTEK (providing sensors and geospatial application):

“C4 EDGE provides XTEK with the opportunity to further leverage the benefits of our home grown XTatlasTM technology, along with other sub-systems and technology from distinguished Australian based partners. The potential to utilise XTatlasTM to enable a small unmanned aerial systems vehicle to locate, track and communicate targets to a remote weapon system is one of the many exciting aspects of this program.”

Pictured: left to right: Bob Quodling, COO, XTEK; Colonel Deane Limmer; Troy Huckstepp, COO, 1LM; Justin Bain, CEO, 3ME; Matthew Wilson, CEO, Penten; Senator Zed Seselja (ACT); Grant Sanderson, CEO, EOS Defence Systems; Bevan Jones, CEO Outlander Solutions; Michael Branch, CEO, Insitec; James Prior, Managing Director, SkyKraft; Peter Moran, CEO, Kord