Three things occurred on March 31 of significance for the development of Australia’s sovereign missile manufacturing capability. The first was the opening of Raytheon’s Joint Integration Centre at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide that will support the company’s activities for LAND 19 Phase 7B in particular. The second was the signing of a support contract for that project between Defence and Raytheon worth $111 million. The third was the announcement by the Prime Minister of a $1 billion fund to accelerate the development of a sovereign guided weapons capability.
The Joint Integration Facility is a 6,500 square metre building that will encompass workspaces, laboratories and light manufacturing under one roof, initially to produce missile-equipped vehicles for Army’s signature ground-based air defence program. Worth an estimated $1.5 billion, this will see vehicles such as the Thales Hawkei equipped with radars from CAE and missiles in the form of AIM-120 AMRAAMs. It is understood that Raytheon are investing around $50 million in developing one of the world’s most advanced and largest such technology centres.
After a euphoric introduction from the Head of Public Affairs Gerry Wheeler, the Managing Director of Raytheon Australia, Michael Ward said: “Raytheon Australia has heavily invested in this new precinct in response to the Australian Defence Force’s increased focus on joint integrated capabilities. The facility has been designed to help defence meet its needs of today as well as its greater challenges of tomorrow.
“In this facility, we will work with defence and industry in sophisticated systems integration laboratories, as well as experimentation areas and training rooms. These spaces will ensure we can work with our customers and partners to deliver fully integrated sovereign capabilities and also train the workforce of the future.”
“This precinct will be home to Australia’s premier integrated air and missile defence capability.”
(NOTE: The complete version of this story is available at Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter at this link.)