XTEK Ltd (ASX:XTE) has secured a A$1 million contract for the next phase of the Command Control Communications and Computers - Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE) Program, under the $34.4 million Commonwealth contract awarded to the program’s prime contractor.
The C4 EDGE Program is an all-Australian industry consortium demonstrating a sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command System (BG-BCS).
As part of the program, XTEK will provide airborne, CBRNE and geospatial capability utilising existing product lines alongside new technical development.
Geospatial situational awareness data
XTEK will leverage its proprietary XTatlasTM software, that currently focuses on geospatial situational awareness from sensor feeds including SUAS video and metadata.
Managing director Philippe Odouard said: “We are excited to be contributing our technology and knowledge to this Australian collaboration.
“C4 EDGE provides XTEK with the opportunity to further leverage the benefits of our homegrown 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.”
XTEK also plans to incorporate other sensor data, including its own SARBI (Sensor and Radiation Broadband Interface) to enhance the situational awareness of assets, with sensors able to be worn by a soldier or interfaced to manned (or unmanned) systems.
Scoping of C4 Edge concept
The first phase of the program involves the scoping for C4 EDGE program participants, with XTEK successfully completing this phase in October 2020 on schedule and within budget.
Under the C4 EDGE Program, XTEK proposes to publish XTatlasTM data to select soldiers in the frontline and the company expects to further develop and optimise other aspects of its actionable intelligence software capability.
The remaining phases of the program involve the design, development and manufacturing of a tactical military communications prototype.
Tactical communications prototype
The Government’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update stipulates an investment pipeline for battlefield communications and command systems of A$5 billion and A$7.5 billion over the next 20 years.
XTEK joins 17 other companies led by EOS Defence Systems (the prime contractor) in the next phases of the C4 EDGE Program, scoping the development of a sovereign land battlegroup and C4 environment for the Australian Army.
The C4 EDGE program will leverage internationally agreed open standards to grow and demonstrate Australian C4 industry capacity and the ability to deliver a BG-BCS for the Army by the end of 2021.
The demonstration includes the development of the tactical communications prototype, which includes waveform, cryptography, satellite-enabled friendly-force tracking, radio and hardware manufacture.