The integration of the complex combat systems on the Royal Australian Navy’s existing guided missile destroyers and Hunter class frigates will be done in Australia, following an agreement between three of the country’s largest defence companies and the Department of Defence.
BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Saab Australia and Defence have signed a Combat System Integration (CSI) Collaboration Agreement (CCA) that will grow a sovereign industrial capability for the Navy’s major surface vessels.
The agreement is another significant step towards the development of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia, according to an announcement.
Managing Director of Saab Australia Andy Keough said the agreement built on decades of combat system integration work performed by the company and Defence.
Keough said: “Through this collaborative partnership, and as the nation’s sovereign combat management system provider for the Royal Australian Navy’s Surface Fleet, we are strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capability and jointly developing the skilled workforce we need to deliver future programmes.”
Saab is spending $75 million expanding its Sovereign Combat System Collaboration Centre at Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, backed by a $22 million grant under the Collaboration Stream of the federal government’s $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
The new collaborative relationship will support Combat System Integration in surface vessels fitted with the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system – produced by Lockheed Martin and with an Australian Interface developed by Saab Australia.
The companies have established the Combat System Integration – Integrated Project Team (CSI-IPT) with members from industry and Defence.
Vice President of Operations at Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand Steve Froelich said: “Working together makes us stronger. The CCA aligns all four organisations on a joint path of success to ensure Australia’s security, economic growth and ongoing military interoperability with the US and allied partners across the Indo-Pacific.”
SAAB combat systems centre backed by $22 million MMI grant
Picture: Saab Australia Chief Operating Officer, Ben Gulliver; BAE Systems Australia – Maritime Managing Director, Craig Lockhart; Director General Surface Combatants and Aviation, CDRE Andrew Quinn; FAS Major Surface Combatants and Combat Systems, Sheryl Lutz; Director General Maritime Integrated Warfare Systems, CDRE Rob Elliot; Vice President of Operations Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand, Steve Froelich