Technical details
ADF, APS and Above the Line

2019 – 2020

Team Downer

SYSTRA (as part of the Team Downer consortium) is leading the digital disruption charge on behalf of the 152 LC3SPO ADF, APS and Above the line contractors.


This project will deliver a new tactical communications network incorporating new Software Defined Radios, Software Defined Networks, development and implementation of a new Australian Standard Generic Vehicle Architecture (AS-GVA) onto more than 500 vehicles and enhance existing battle management system software. Like many military technologies (such as the Internet, GPS, etc), this government controlled technology in time will likely be the blueprint for the Transport and Infrastructure sector for vehicles.

Whether they are manned, unmanned, driving, flying, or robotic vehicles, they will autonomously communicate with each other and critical infrastructure. This civilian version will utilise Non-proprietary, configurable and hardware agnostic software running in Virtual Machines; similar to the Android Operating System for Smartphones; but with the necessary Safety and Cybersecurity accreditation finally implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) for Smart Cities.


Project transformation

March 2019, SSL provided thought leadership to the LC3SPO Director on how the Brisbane Engineering Team were using Agile Development and ‘Smart Buyer’ approach to embed Project and Engineering Management into L3Harris, to reduce programmatic risk and accelerate the program. On 23rd May 2019, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) published a report on the LAND 200 program, identifying the need for change.

Long before COVID-19 placed travel restrictions on international and domestic flights, the decision to progressively move the Project team from Canberra to Brisbane was made. Along with our SSL Values of Excellence, Connected Teams and Bold Leadership; in January 2020, SSL has taken a leadership position and being recognised as the “Signature Team” to accelerate program delivery, through the values of Customer Trust, Respect and Service.

Project Leadership

Early in 2020 the Land 200 project was flagged due to a projected 12-month schedule slippage. With this knowledge, the SSL team, in close conjunction with the new Project Director, teamed with L3Harris (The below the line contractor for L200 -2) to identify ways in which the program could be improved and feasible schedule recovery opportunities. This collaboration has resulted in a move away from traditional “siloed” approach used by Defence to a highly collaborative, 1-team culture.

SYSTRA staff have been key players in the rebuilding of trust, open communication strategies and collaborative working approach that are striving to achieve first time acceptance of project deliverables.
This new working paradigm has resulted in the achievement of 3 months of schedule recovery with the Detailed Design Review (DDR) being advance to July 2020. Whilst this is a great achievement for the team there are many schedule recovery opportunities that could be realised with outside the box thinking and innovate strategy implementation.

One such schedule recovery option that is being implemented in a Verification and validation Acceleration (V&V) program. There are several hurdles to overcome, primary caused by the heavily waterfall based project environment in which agile methodologies are only being newly adopted. Combined with the risk averse nature of Defence there has been significant pressure on the SYSTRA team to prove the value of new methodologies. Through the implementation of appropriate change management strategies and advocacy the SYSTRA team has been able to achieve buy-in from both Commonwealth and Harris teams, as the program enters a critical phase in the coming months.

One of the main lessons learnt from this project centres on the advantage gained by Agile and SCRUM Program delivery. Success can be generated through a 1-team approach in which pragmatic and collaborative engagement culture is coupled with open, honest communication.


In March 2020, our team created a – “LAND 200 Engineering Community” on GovTEAMS and are performing Daily SCRUMS using the Video and Chat facilities each afternoon; noting that approximately 70 to 80% of staff are still operating out of our Brisbane, and Canberra offices (or at least periodically for specific meetings, V&V Testing, and Field Activities).

The forced innovation of using GovTEAMS for regular meetings between our Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne offices; meetings with our contractors such as L3Harris and Elbit Systems, Thales, and Boeing; and other Defence government organisations such as Army HQ, Forces Command, LNIC, etc will pay massive long term dividends from the daily and weekly FIFO trips between Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne.