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Israeli defense company awarded Australian contract

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – An Israeli defense company won a $300 million contract to develop a cutting-edge command and communications system for the Australian Defense Force.

The Haifa-based Elbit Systems, one of the world’s largest defense electronics manufacturers, won the international tender, Australian Defense Personnel Minister Greg Combet said Tuesday.

“The introduction of this new capability will increase the ADF’s battle space awareness, automate combat messaging and assist in the successful conduct of operations,” Combet said in a statement. “Importantly, this capability will significantly reduce the possible risk of casualties resulting from friendly fire.”

The technology will help the army towards having a fully networked brigade by 2012, he added.

Elbit CEO Joseph Ackerman said the project would take three years to complete and would spur additional contracts from other foreign armies.

“We are in talks with a lot of different countries,” Ackerman told the Jerusalem Post. “All militaries are interested in such command-and-control capabilities.”

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