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Lockheed Martin promises SME involvement in new satellite system

Manufacturing News

A new defence satellite communication system to be deployed by the Australian Defence Force will include significant local content from a range of SME suppliers, according to successful tenderer Lockheed Martin Australia.

Defence today announced Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) as the preferred tenderer to deliver on a new Australian Defence satellite communication system, through Joint Project 9102 Phase 1.

Lockheed Martin Australia will progress to the next stage of the Defence procurement process, which includes engaging in collaborative tender clarification and improvement activities.

The multi-billion dollar JP9102 project will provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a sovereign military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) system defined by its extensibility, agility and resilience.

Welcoming the news, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Warren McDonald said the salellite capability will provide the ADF with robust connectivity and reliable information when and where they need it, and contribute further to the growth and development of Australia’s defence and space industries.

McDonald said that a significant amount of the content for Lockheed Martin’s proposed JP9102 solution will be via Australian small and medium enterprises and that the company was committed to knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

Lockheed Martin has assembled a diverse team of Australian companies including Inovor Technologies, EM Solutions, AV-Comm, Linfox, Shoal Group, Ronson Gears, Calytrix Technologies, Conscia, Clearbox Systems, DXC and Blacktree Technology to deliver ground and control segments for JP9102.

Lockheed Martin has also partnered with the Victorian Government to establish Victoria as the engineering and technical hub for the company’s JP9102 solution, an investment that will create more than 200 advanced space industry jobs in the state.

LMA has also launched a space-focused education program with STEM Punks, a STEM education initiative to educate, upskill and inspire Australia’s future workforce.

The government’s Head of Air Defence and Space Systems Division, Air Vice-Marshal David Scheul, said the multi-billion dollar project would deliver Australia’s first sovereign-controlled satellite communication system over the Indo-Pacific ocean regions.

Air Vice-Marshal Scheul said: “Currently across Defence there is up to 89 capabilities which depend on satellite communications.

“Once delivered, the new system will increase the resilience, agility and flexibility of Defence’s military satellite capability.”

The new satellite communication system will include:

  • New Defence controlled and operated geo-stationary communications satellites
  • Multiple ground stations across Australia
  • Integrated Satellite Communications Management System
  • And two new satellite communications operations centres.

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Image: Lockheed Martin Australia

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