Lockheed Martin chosen for air defence system


The Department of Defence has selected Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) as the strategic partner to steward AIR6500 Phase 1 (AIR6500-1) – the delivery of a new Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS).

The system will be the architecture at the core of the Australian Defence Force’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability.

The federal government today committed $765 million to deliver the system, the second tranche of what is expected to be a multibillion dollar programme.

This first-of-its-kind system will provide greater situational awareness and defence against increasingly advanced air and missile threats, as well as give the ADF increased levels of interoperability with the United States and allied partners, according to LMA.

The executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems Stephanie C. Hill said: “We are honoured to be selected as the trusted strategic partner to lead and deliver this important sovereign capability, in partnership with Australian industry, to the Australian Defence Force.

“Australia’s AIR6500-1 program is truly transformational.

“This critical capability will allow the ADF to leverage information from across all domains at greater speeds, with better accuracy and at a greater scale than it is capable of today.”

LMA has engaged with prime contractors Raytheon and Boeing and awarded contracts to more than 10 leading-edge companies such as Leidos Australia, Consunet, Consilium, C4I, Silentium, Penten and Lucid Consulting Engineering.

The project is likely to generate up to 230 jobs, including for subcontractors, in high-tech areas including software development, systems engineering, project management and logistics. Around 150 jobs will be in South Australia, 60 in the NSW Hunter region, with others in Brisbane and Canberra.

The chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Warren McDonald said: “This approach will ensure Australian small to medium enterprises have ‘box seats’ in the global supply chain.

“The Integrated Air and Missile Defence sovereign technologies being created in Australia today will be exported to the world in the future – unlocking a $83B export market for Australia’s defence industry.”

The government said it was also accelerating the ADF’s Medium-Range Ground-Based Air Defence capability, with options developed with several companies forconsideration.

The Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said: “This Government is maximising opportunities for Australian industry, including small and medium enterprises, as we deliver these important defence capabilities.

“I’m pleased to say today’s announcement will create a significant number of high-skilled secure defence industry jobs, boosting the local economy.”

Picture: Lockheed Martin Australia

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