Lockheed Martin Australia has been awarded a contract for the ongoing sustainment of the Tactical Air Defence Radar System (TADRS), continuing a long-standing Air Battlespace Management capability partnership between Lockheed Martin Australia and the Department of Defence. Lockheed Martin Australia has provided TADRS sustainment support since the mobile radar first entered into service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 2004. The new support contract, announced by the Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon. Melissa Price MP, has an initial five-year duration and a total value of approximately $50 million.

The TADRS is a deployable tactical air defence radar based on the Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-77 Long Range Radar System that enables air surveillance, command and control functions in support of military and humanitarian missions. It can be deployed via air, land or sea and can operate either autonomously with minimal maintenance staff or with a complement of surveillance operators, dependent upon mission needs.

Joe North, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand. (PHOTO: Lockheed Martin Australia)

Commenting on the contract award, Joe North, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, said Lockheed Martin Australia was proud to continue partnering with the Department of Defence in sustaining a crucial part of Australia’s Air Battlespace Management capability. “The TADRS is absolutely vital to Australia’s ability to rapidly deploy air surveillance as well as command and control functions wherever the mission requires,” he said. “We are proud to have provided sustainment services in support of Australia’s TADRS capability for sixteen years and the award of this new contract will ensure the continuation of the TADRS Programme well into the future. Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to continue providing the service to the RAAF, with our core workforce of 25 highly skilled Australians supporting the programme across the country,” he said.

North also highlighted the considerable progress made by the Department of Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia to continue to train and build sovereign sustainment capabilities and maximise program efficiencies. “In recent years, the Department of Defence and Lockheed Martin Australia have worked together to continue to up-skill our sovereign capabilities in support of TADRS sustainment requirements,” he said. “This has resulted in the program continuously reducing scheduled maintenance downtime while increasing operational availability.”

Lockheed Martin Australia currently employs 25 staff directly in support of the TADRS in Williamtown and over the term of the new contract an average of five additional highly skilled positions will be established across Darwin and Williamtown.

Hon Melissa Price MP
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the $50 million contract was “a great example of the importance of partnerships between Defence and industry with the creation of additional highly skilled positions in what is a vibrant regional defence hub. The TADRS complements the Morrison government’s investment in Australia’s surveillance and intelligence data collection and analysis capability. The importance of this capability was highlighted in the recently-released 2020 Force Posture Plan. With more than 90 percent of the contract dedicated to Australian industry content, this project not only delivers new technology for a cutting edge Australian Defence Force but also represents an enormous opportunity for Australian industry.”

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