Penten tunes into securing Defence’s tactical communications needs

12 November 2020 | News

Australian cyber technology company Penten has established a specialist business unit dedicated to securing sovereign communication technologies for defence and emergency services.

The unit was launched at Penten’s Canberra headquarters by Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP today.

Penten’s new business unit, Tactical Communications Security, aims to support Australian Industry in the delivery of secure and easy-to-use communication technologies that are compatible across military, emergency and humanitarian applications.

Headed by Penten’s Chief Technology Officer, Merik Karman, the new business unit today has a team of 10 dedicated people specialising in advanced electronics, waveforms, cryptography, photonics, field programmable gate arrays and high assurance security.

The new Tactical Communications Security business unit is working with some of Australia’s leading radio manufacturers to secure new communications solutions focused on Defence requirements.

With multiple contracts already and the ability to draw on Penten’s Secure Mobility and Applied AI business units and 100 strong team for specialist resources, the new business unit is forecast to grow rapidly creating more high value engineering jobs in Australia.

At the core of the communications opportunities is the use of new Australian radio systems enhanced by Penten’s unique sovereign encryption solutions.

Penten CEO Matthew Wilson said the company realised, and sought to address new communications security needs, a missing link in Australia’s sovereign radio technologies.

“We knew that Penten had the capability and the expertise to develop and provide support and solutions to Australia’s radio communications companies to meet Defence needs, allowing those in uniform to focus on doing their job rather than managing technology,” he said.

“This sovereign technology demonstrates that Australian Industry has the capacity and capability to develop home-grown solutions that are focussed on delivering to Defence a technology advantage.”

Mr Wilson said the sovereign secure communications technologies being developed would:

  • harness the critical advanced manufacturing skills and expertise within Australia
  • allow different Defence elements to co-ordinate and communicate effectively, easily and securely
  • deliver highly complex technologies, in a simple solution to enable the focus on the mission.

Penten Chief Technology Officer Merik Karman said he had evaluated and researched radio technologies in recent years, in a mission to extend existing technology and transform it into a modern solution that was more secure and user-friendly.

“We are working intimately with Australia’s leading radio specialists to combine their expertise with Penten’s secure mobility technology to develop a truly sovereign secure communication solution.” he said.

One of the projects the team is already currently engaged is the C4 EDGE Program, launched in August 2020.