Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Australian Department of Defence-SingtelOptus Contract seen through Asian eyes

Singtel Optus has the prime contractor role to the Australian Department of Defence for the military communications payload.

The nature of the relationship is well described by the Department:
Joint Project 2008 Phase 3D was established in 1997 following an invitation from Optus for Defence to share Australia’s next generation commercial communications satellite. The project provides for supply and support of a Defence owned payload operating on the shared C1 communications satellite, together with Defence owned fixed terrestrial infrastructure for control and management of the Defence payload and the new communications network.

The network, otherwise known as the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Capability, will provide Defence with satellite communications across Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region in the X, Ka and UHF radio frequency bands. Contracts with Optus were signed in October 1999.

“Information Systems Division will be responsible for control and management of the new communications network. Optus has been contracted by Defence to supply payload operators, to maintain and support the fixed terrestrial infrastructure and to undertake telemetry, tracking and command of the satellite. A satellite management agreement has also been established to guide Defence and Optus in the management and operation of the shared satellite asset."

Singtel Optus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singtel Ltd, a subsidiary of the Temeasek Holdings Ltd , a wholly owned subsidiary of the Government of Singapore.

Few ,if any born and bred in Asia, would not see that this deal provides the Government of Singapore with a number of opportunities. These include:
a) The ability to listen in, catalouge and archive all Australian Department of Defence communications

b)To analyse that information so as to identify material that could be of use to Singaporean interests

c)To analyse that information so as to identify material that could be of use to Singapore's friends in the region whose interests might be affected by Australian foreign policy, for example Indonesia, Myannmar and China.

d) To determine the best use of that information to further Singaporean interests, including the sale of that information to any interested party

As anyone born and bred in Asia will tell you, for Singapore to not do so would be the height of stupidity. The Department of Defence would of course argue that there is no evidence to suggest......


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