Kongsberg Defence Australia has announced the achievement of a critical production milestone for the LAND 19 Phase 7B program, successfully passing Factory Acceptance Tests of the first two Fire Distribution Centres (FDC) for the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems (NASAMS). As part of this program, Kongsberg Defence Australia is supporting Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and prime contractor, Raytheon Australia, to deliver the new Short-Range Ground-Based Air Defence capability to the Australian Army.
NASAMS is a state-of-the-art weapons system produced by Raytheon Technologies and KONGSBERG that is in service with, or under delivery to, 12 nations. The system will enable the Australian Army to quickly detect, engage, and destroy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missile threats.
The FDC is the Air Defence Command, Control, Communications and Computing (C4) system that manages engagement operations through centralised control of NASAMS sensors, launchers, missiles, and communication systems. It will be the most advanced and integrated C4 system ever delivered to Army, enabling integrated joint GBAD and fires activities.
At Raytheon Australia’s Centre for Joint Integration in Adelaide, the FDC has been assembled, integrated and tested by Kongsberg Defence Australia’s NASAMS Production Team. Each FDC comprises over 10,000 components, the overwhelming majority of which have been sourced locally. Australian suppliers in partnership with Kongsberg Defence Australia include Sydney-based Eylex, Adelaide-based Daronmont Technologies and REDARC Electronics, and Albury-based MILSPEC Manufacturing.
Despite the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19, Kongsberg Defence Australia’s General Manager, John Fry is delighted at how his team has quickly established an approved production capability, and managed their local suppliers to be able to build and deliver the first two FDC’s to Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace on schedule. “The Factory Acceptance Testing involved the conduct of over 2,200 physical, configuration and system test activities performed over four weeks, and I am immensely proud of what Kongsberg Defence Australia has achieved during these difficult times. This is a significant milestone in the development of the KONGSBERG’s Australian production capability. It demonstrates our ability to undertake the production and integration of complex C4 and fire control systems, and shows that we are able to support all of KONGSBERG’s programs and capabilities in Australia and the region. This milestone also represents a significant contribution to the Strategic Industry Capability Priority of Integrated Air and Missile Defence that was recently announced by the Minister for Defence Industry,” Fru said.
Integrated Defence Systems Executive Vice President for Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Kjetil Reiten Myhra welcomes the successful Factory Acceptance Test of FDC1 and FDC2, acknowledging this major success is the product of outstanding collaboration between the KONGSBERG teams in Australia and Norway. “Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has been committed to the establishment of an Australian business to create sovereign capability for the production and sustainment of NASAMS. We have been very impressed by what Kongsberg Defence Australia has achieved with its growing team and new Australian supply chain during a pandemic-interrupted period,” said Myhra.
Accomplishing this key milestone demonstrates the successful transfer of manufacturing and production technology to Australian Industry, providing the technical skills and know-how to perform in-country production and sustainment activities for NASAMS.
Kongsberg Defence Australia, and its local suppliers, are now manufacturing the remaining FDC’s for the LAND 19 Phase 7B program. FDC1 and FDC2 will be used for the conduct of NASAMS integration activities with other key sub-systems.