AIR6500 is the RAAFs multibillion-dollar plan for an integrated communication network promoting seamless operability and connectivity across sensors, weapons, jets, and warships to protect against threats. Lockheed Martin was selected to lead the project in late August 2023, contracting 10 leading-edge Australian companies to support this mission.

As a supplier to Lockheed, Australian defence company, C4i, a member of the Frequentis Group, will provide its secure VOICE C2 technology. This secure communication system acts as a bridge, linking operators, radios, and telephony across the RAAF's operations. This integration will enhance the RAAF's ability to respond effectively in high-pressure situations.

Together C4i and Lockheed have been contributing their expertise in the design, test, and integration phase for over 18 months before selection by RAAF from the final two suppliers. The goal of the project is to advance the systems that will seamlessly integrate with the next-generation Joint Air Battle Management C2 networks. These technologies are essential for enhancing situational awareness, improving rapid decision-making capabilities, and fostering interoperability across air, land, sea, cyber, and space domains.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Lockheed on AIR6500, building upon our successful partnership in the Air Battle Management realm," says Darren Gardner, Managing Director C4i. “During the design, test, and integration activities of the competitive evaluation phase, we have been able to showcase our abilities to advance the secure communication systems that will seamlessly integrate with the next-generation Joint Air Battle Management C2 networks. The collaboration outlines our dedication to supporting Australia's national security strategy by delivering advanced secure communication capabilities.”

Leveraging the success of the demonstrated system, the pair will continue to develop the ecosystem with an intuitive HMI that connects operators while integrating various systems – including data, radio, telephony, and recording – from anywhere and at any time. This system will bridge classified and non-classified networks, aiding RAAF’s air battle managers in making faster data-driven decisions to stay ahead of emerging threats.

“Lockheed Martin Australia has advanced a sovereign AIR6500-1 system solution that has been built from the ground up in Australia by Australians to safeguard Australia’s national security and we are pleased to have contracted 10 leading-edge companies to support this mission, including the VOICE C2 solution from C4i,” says Warren McDonald, CEO, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.