The Australian government will ensure Australia starts manufacturing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles from 2025, following the signing of a $37.4 million contract between Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia.
The contract will enable an initial batch of GMLRS missiles to be manufactured in Australia, which is an important first step towards establishing domestic missile manufacturing on a larger scale. It will facilitate the transfer of technical data from the United States, establish processes for engineering certification, and begin to build the technical skills of an Australian workforce. The Australian government will also acquire Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM). Both PrSM, which can engage targets out to 500km, and GMLRS can be fired from HIMARS launchers.
These activities are part of the $4.1 billion investment, announced in response to the Defence Strategic Review, which will enable Defence to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions in Australia.
The government continues to deliver on its commitment to establish domestic missile manufacturing while also accelerating the acquisition of long-range strike capability, strengthening the Australian Defence Force’s ability to defend Australia and its immediate region.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “Signing this contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to begin the manufacturing of GMLRS in Australia from 2025 is another example of the Albanese Government delivering key outcomes of the Defence Strategic Review. These are important milestones which will see Australia gain the technology we need to establish a sovereign industry, providing opportunities for a highly-skilled workforce.”
Acting Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said: “This announcement delivers on the Albanese Government’s commitment to reprioritise Defence capabilities in line with the Defence Strategic Review, including developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer range. This important first step towards the establishment of domestic guided weapons manufacturing in Australia will complement the acquisition of long-range precision strike capabilities and strengthen the ADF’s ability to protect Australia and its interests. This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise – a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023.”
“We are excited about this strategic endeavour to bring advanced factory technology to Australia,” said Tim Cahill, Executive Vice President Missiles and Fire Control, Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin will transfer the technology and service delivery as is in many of our U.S. advanced weapon factories – accelerating the development of manufacturing capability in Australia for Lockheed Martin weapons,” said Cahill.
Warren McDonald, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the announcement, “as a GWEO strategic partner, we are proud to be awarded this important defence contract. The GWPC Risk Reduction Activity contract will provide a mechanism for swift knowledge and technology transfer and serve as a risk mitigator and pathfinder to future manufacture in Australia of the Lockheed Martin suite of guided weapons.”
Lockheed Martin’s Australian Defence Strategic Capabilities Office has been working with the Commonwealth and industry partners to expedite the delivery of a guided weapons manufacturing and maintenance capability in Australia.
“This partnership exemplifies our enduring commitment to innovation, growth and creating a strategically important capability,” said Ken Kota, Vice President, ADSCO, Lockheed Martin.
In readiness for making the GMLRS AURs and LPCs in Australia, a team of Lockheed Martin Australia engineers will be sent to the U.S. for specialised training at Lockheed Martin’s guided weapons production facilities before returning to Australia to begin this important work.