The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has extended its C1 satellite partnership with Optus for another ten years with a $40m contract.
The agreement involves necessary preparation of ground infrastructure within Optus facilities at Belrose, New South Wales and Lockridge, Western Australia.
It also includes operating and sustainment costs associated with the continued use of Optus C1.
Since 2003, the company has provided the DoD with satellite communication services through its C1 satellite and onboard defence payload system.
Australian Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne said: “Optus will reconfigure the C1 satellite to operate in an inclined orbit to reduce onboard fuel usage and extend the life of the satellite as far as 2027.
“The existing agreement with Optus was due to expire in 2020 coinciding with the satellite’s anticipated end-of-life.”
As stated by Payne, the Optus C1 satellite partnership will provide the Australian Defence Force users with additional satellite communications capacity across the continent and the Asia-Pacific region.
Payne added: “The extended use of Optus C1 will preserve Australia’s orbital filing precedence and options to place future satellite communications capabilities within the region.”
The extended partnership with the Australian company will also enable the defence department to continue supporting the DoD, other Australian Government agencies, and international partners.
Payne noted: “The agreement assists defence and the government to preserve Australia’s right to continue to operate in the radio-frequency spectrum from space until such a time as government elects an alternative course of action.”