Communications Systems Get Installed on Australia’s NUSHIP Canberra

The communications and information systems department started work onboard Australian Navy’s biggest ship NUSHIP Canberra in August during sea trials and have spent a considerable amount of time since then ensuring that the ship’s communications systems are ready when the crew embarks.

The ship’s Communications and Information Warfare Officer, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Mannion said the communications system on board Canberra would bring an enhanced capability to Defence, specifically the ability for embarked forces and their headquarters staff to operate and communicate from the ship.

Lieutenant Commander Mannion said:

The planning for setting up the networks and communications systems on board commenced early in the year.

The communications suite on Canberra is significantly larger than any other ship in the fleet, we have approximately three times the amount of radios, networks and users.

The 34 members of the department are responsible for the operation of the ship’s six local area networks (LANs), providing a 24/7 Information Technology (IT) helpdesk and information management on board. The department will also look after the radio, satellite and visual signalling (lights and flags) communications mediums.

The migration of the ship’s administrative paperwork and processes represented a move of approximately 50 gigabytes of data.

Lieutenant Commander Mannion added:

We had to transfer data that we had accumulated over the past 18 months to the ship’s servers.

This was done with the assistance of a team in the city of Canberra who copied the data to a hard drive and then couriered it down to Melbourne for us.

The department has also had to create logons for all 400 crew members, plus additional accounts on the classified networks.

He continued:

When we start embarking forces, we will need to go through the same process for them, which could be approximately 300 additional personnel.

The ship has three internet cafes that provide space for the crew to conduct personal administration.

These are ship’s networked computers but there is a work in progress to install a Wi-Fi network so both crew and embarked forces can use personal devices to communicate with family and friends back home.

Press release, Image: Australian Navy

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