Airservices Australia and the Department of Defence have entered an agreement that will govern the pair's relationship in the acquisition of a new air traffic management (ATM) system for Australia.

"Working together, our commitment is to successfully harmonise civil and military air traffic management to deliver a wide range of benefits, including greater airspace efficiency, better investment in personnel and infrastructure, and seamless systems compatibility," Airservices general manager for ATC future systems, Nick King, said in a statement.

When contacted, an Airservices spokeswoman said a request for tender could be issued in late 2012 or early 2013.

Industry sources say the project is likely to attract bids from major ATM players such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Thales and ITT Exelis.

"The agreement is a key milestone in the project to procure a single ATM system for military and civilian use as both organisations' systems are approaching their end of life," added Airservices.

The Defence Materiel Organisation's air commodore, Mike Walkington, said the agreement provides specific arrangements for acquisition and sustainment.

Airservices, a state-owned firm responsible for ATM in Australia, declined to provide a value for the contract.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news