Defence begins process to select missile manufacturer

The federal government has launched a ‘smart buyer’ process to select the company that will develop an Australian Guided Weapons Enterprise as foreshadowed in @AuManufacturing.

The Enterprise will operate a guided weapons manufacturing capability as part of planned purchases of a suite of long-range strike and defensive weapons under a $1 billion plan.

BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Kongsberg and Boeing are among those vying for selection.

Defence minister Peter Dutton said the enterprise would supply Australia’s needs and have export potential as a second source of supply for weapons in use in allied nations.

It is prudent to have at least two manufacturing centres for critical defence systems in case one is disrupted – a concept which sees Australia already supplying parts to allied programs.

Dutton said: “The manufacturing and supply of weapons in Australia will not only benefit and enhance our ADF operational capacity, but will ensure we have adequate supply of weapon stock holdings to sustain combat operations if flobal supply chains are disrupted.”

Dutton will designate the Chief of Joint Capabilities as the capability manager for the national guided weapons enterprise.

“We will work closely with the United States on this important initiative to ensure that we understand how our enterprise can best support both Australia’s needs and the growing needs of our most important military partner.”

Industry minister Christian Porter also released the National Manufacturing Defence Roadmap including a ten year plan for investment and industry growth.

Porter said: “The road map identifies opportunities for defence manufacturers to build on existing areas of strength such as military vehicle and aircraft manufacturing, naval shipbuilding and marine hardware production, cutting-edge digital technologies such as 3D printing, and explosives and propellants.

“The road map also identifies opportunities for Australian manufacturers to build scale and capability in three key areas: investment in the defence sector, defence exports and adapting advanced technologies to the defence sector or for civilian application.”

The road map can be accessed here.

Picture: BAE Systems/ Evolves sea sparrow missile launch

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