Sierra NevandaLockheed Martin has officially opened a new office in the Commonwealth-owned, company-operated munitions facility at Mulwala.

Tim Cahill, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, welcomed the establishment of the new office. “Lockheed Martin is expanding – we recently opened a dedicated Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEO) program office in Canberra, and today, in partnership with Thales Australia, we have added a new office in Mulwala to support the development and production of various manufacturing activities in Australia,” he said.

The Mulwala site is the first co-located presence for Lockheed Martin Australia. Pat Sunderlin, vice president of operations for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said, “Lockheed Martin, together with our industry and defence partners are paving the way for the accelerated development and production of guided weapons capabilities.”

Thales Australia currently manages the Commonwealth-owned facility at Mulwala and has made a significant investment in state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment at the site.

Thales Australia’s Chief Executive, Jeff Connolly, said, “This is an important step forward to achieving the Australian Government’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance objectives. We are committed to our partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia and the development of high-performance propellants and explosives for warheads, solid fuel rocket motor manufacturing, and the associated research and development essential to achieving a sovereign guided weapons capability for the Australian Defence Force.”

Australian supply chain opportunities that build resiliency through local manufacture, and further strengthen Australia’s national defence industrial base are also being identified, building upon Lockheed Martin Australia’s teaming agreement with Thales Australia in 2021.

Ken Kota, vice president of the Australia Defence Strategic Capabilities Office at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is positive about the future enterprise. “We are working to accelerate the connectivity of our platforms at Lockheed Martin, with a view to encompassing the greater defence ecosystem,” he said. “We will collaborate to tie together our platforms and systems with those of other manufacturers, across generations. This ‘network effect’ for our partners will provide greater returns in capability and efficiency than any individual system could on its own. We are actively engaging with suppliers, partners and small businesses to give them every opportunity to partner with Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver world-class capability to the GWEO enterprise.”

In the coming week, Lockheed Martin will host two separate ‘Industry Days’ with a plan to share its vision and role as a GWEO strategic partner to the Commonwealth, and how defence industry suppliers might partner with Lockheed Martin to realise that vision.

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