Page 54 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
P. 54

“We need to approach the Primes and
make them more aware of our capabilities,
technologies and advantages.”
But in some ways, it’s quite complicated, because most large primes now have their own legacy simulation systems and unless there’s a mandate or a desire to change, they are more likely to use the software they already own, rather than invest in something local and new, despite AIC and other initiatives.”
Cirrus is a developer, supplier and support agency for simulation capability in the De- fence sector, beginning in the early 2000s with the development and supply of a Mine Hunting Simulation System for the Navy’s Mine Hunter Coastal (MHC) fleet of ships.
In more recent times the company has provided Navy with the Generic COM- CEN Simulator (GCS) system to train communications systems operators and a Tactical Electronic Warfare (TACEW) system, which simulates the EW systems of Navy’s major fleet units.
In the Air domain, Cirrus has devel- oped and supplied its Air Combat Officer Training System (ACOTS) to the RAAF Air Mission Training School (previously School of Air Warfare) at East Sale, which
simulates navigation systems and sensors, including multi-mode radar, tactical data links, electro-optic and Infra-red (EO/IR) sensors and other equipment.
It has also enjoyed export success with the supply of the Helicopter Training Officer Sys- tem (HCOTS), a variant of ACOTS, to a re- gional navy in partnership with Prism Defence.
Peter Freed, Cirrus’ managing director says that that under the contracts Cirrus has had with Defence, it has delivered some very high-end technology that simulates highly complex systems and it is genuinely helping move the ADF’s training capability forward.
Freed is optimistic about the future and notes that the most important environmen- tal factor affecting SMEs is the scale of ex- penditure in the Defence sector.
“The substantive capabilities being intro- duced into the ADF brings an increased de- mand for warfighter training, and with Cir- rus’ record of delivery and reputation as a local, responsive supplier, we are pleased to make a significant contribution,” he said to ADM.
Winning Defence business can be a chal- lenge and he noted a degree of reticence within Defence to work with smaller or- ganisations
“There can be a presumption of risk re- garding working with SMEs. While that outlook may not reflect the risks as they actu- ally are, it can be the case that we’ll just go the extra mile to prove our credentials,” he said.
While most of Cirrus’ work to date has been directly with Defence, Freed says there are cases where the Defence Organisa- tion prefers to have more managed by the primes, which may then subcontract the work to other companies, including SMEs.
“We do some work on a subcontract basis now and some of it as the prime. It just comes down to what works best for the case at hand for the end customer,” Freed explained.
From an AIC perspective, Freed says that the government’s strong push for local capability is a very positive and beneficial strategy, but he cautions that the actual delivery of promised content needs to be monitored closely.
“AIC policy is the mature outcome of in- dustry policy development over quite some time. Moving forwards, rather than further policy updates, effective compliance man- agement of the existing policy will be key to ensuring that the prime/SME interaction operates as intended. While there is room for real progress here, factors such as this are very much secondary when compared to the overwhelmingly positive environment for our industry,” he said.
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