C4 EDGE Successful Demonstration
The Australian Army-sponsored sovereign industry initiative Command, Control, Communications and Computers – Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE), achieved a battlegroup and below prototype demonstration milestone at Majura Field Firing Training Range, ACT on 6 December 2021.
The sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command System prototype was demonstrated in a combat team environment, integrating mounted/dismounted and uninhabited platforms in a single network.
Matthew Jones CEO of EOS Defence Systems Australia said “C4 EDGE, as an Australian first, leverages the expertise and cutting-edge technologies across Industry Team participants who represent every State and Territory across Australia except the Northern Territory.
“It incorporates locally sourced combat radios, satellite terminals, cryptography, networking middleware, command applications, user interfaces, batteries, and power management into a coherent and fully Australian-controlled system,” Matt Jones said.
“C4 EDGE as an Australian Industry demonstration of capability has surpassed expectations – proving Australian Industry has capacity, capability and will to deliver a C4 system that can meet the future needs of the Australian Army. C4 EDGE has delivered a roadmap for the development of the sovereign C4 eco-system including options to take the demonstration proof of concept through to commercial production.”
The initial success of C4 EDGE would not have happened without the sponsorship and extensive support from the Australian Army. Jones said, “The Australian Army has provided the Defence Industry a unique opportunity to showcase Australian technology and EOS Defence Systems’ ability, as the prime contractor, to deliver a complex systems integration on time and on budget”.
Army Head of Land Capability Major-General Simon Stuart said C4 EDGE is an example of strategic partnership between Army and industry characterised by engagement earlier in the Capability Life Cycle.
“The initiative is a $35M mobile tactical communications capability proof-of-concept involving a consortium of eighteen Australian companies, led by Electro Optic Systems,” Major-General Stuart said.
“The aim of C4 EDGE is to provide Army an understanding of Australian Industry’s readiness to contribute to future major acquisition programs by seeking to deliver world class, technologically competitive sovereign C4 capabilities.”
Major-General Stuart added that C4 EDGE is a key example of Army maintaining a capability development edge by engaging directly with Australian industry and demonstrated industry’s ability to collaborate to achieve an integrated system outcome.
“These partnerships are vital if we are to deliver the Government’s modernisation program and build a joint force that can meet the threats of today and adapt quickly to the threats of tomorrow.”
The C4 EDGE program showcases the potential for Australian Industry to deliver key elements of Defence capability – keeping Defence investment local, growing advanced manufacturing jobs, and strengthening Australia’s existing C4 Industrial base and to grow export markets.