First Assistant Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Ivan Zlabur examines Land 200 Tranche 2 Battlefield Management System equipment.. Photo: Australian Defence.

The Australian Defence Department approved today the second phase of the army digitization program known as LAND 200. The program comprises the Land 75 and Land 125, each separated into Tranche phases. Delivering a holistic Land networking solution for two Army Brigades, Land 200 also supports the training and simulation establishments, Special Forces and other Services.

The $1.4 billion worth project will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s digital command, control and communications systems, particularly with the mechanized forces. Harris and Elbit Systems are the two foreign suppliers are supplying the hardware and software for the project. The two companies are expected to support hundreds of local jobs through local subsidiaries that will support the program through its lifespan.

LAND 200 Tranche 2 delivers tactical communications network, including encrypted radios provided by Harris, and Battle Management System (BMS) software, delivered by Elbit Systems under the LAND 200 Tranche 1. Together they form the Battlefield Command System, which allows commanders to plan, monitor, direct and review operations in real time. Elbit Systems is the prime contractor of the Australian Army’s BMS and it supplies, integrates, installs and supports the Battle Group and Below Command, Control and Communications (BGC3) system for the Australian Army’s Land 75 part of the program. The BGC3 is comprised of a BMS for soldiers, Vehicle Mounted Commanders and Headquarters/Command Post Staff.

The BMS and battle command network Battlefield Command System will integrate with weapon systems in Australia’s tanks and future combat vehicles, increasing decision speed and the ability to share information across the battlefield.

LAND 200 is made up of various phases of three projects, JP 2072, LAND 75, and LAND 125, and will deliver capability throughout Defence in three Tranches between 2011 and 2021-2022.

The current program will provide radios and BMS to support the existing and new protected vehicles, including the new Hawkeye PMV-L. Photo: Australian Defence.

LAND 200 Tranche 1 was launched in November 2009 and included delivery of new radios and battle command systems between 2011 and 2014. Under the first Tranche, the Army received the radios that provided a modern digital backbone and Battle Management System (BMS), spanning the dismounted soldiers, light combat vehicles and Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMV), Unimog and G Wagons.

The current LAND 200 Tranche 2 phase continues with PMV and G-Wagon installations, as well as the installation of radios and systems into the M113AS4s armored personnel carriers (APC), LAND 121 Medium Heavy Trucks, and PMV-Light. (Hawkeye). This phase will also include the introduction of platform-specific BMS integrated into the Tank and ASLAV); Brigade Headquarters software applications for all headquarters functions including interoperability with key Joint and Coalition systems; this procurement also introduces a new digital soldier radio; modification of the current soldier Battle Management Systems to reduce weight and size whilst enhancing capability.

The third and final phase of LAND 200, Tranche 3, that will commence through 2022, will complete deliveries to the remainder of the Australian defense force and provide technical refresh for equipment previously delivered in Tranche 1 and 2.