As part of the commitment to continuing a long-term sovereign capability to support the Australian Defence Force’s AIR6500 program, Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) announced contracts with five Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore Australian sovereign technologies that may be incorporated into the AIR6500 system solution.
LMA, together with innovative Australian SMEs which include Consilium Technology, Consunet, Shoal, Silentium Defence and Ultra, will investigate and develop capabilities that can be integrated into an open architecture framework to support 5th generation concepts and application development. A key focus of the SMEs will be to explore technologies ranging from electronic warfare battle management, contested communications, cyber protection, advanced systems engineering and passive sensing.
According to Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 program executive, “over the past four years, the LMA AIR6500 team has been steadily adding to our sovereign presence and expanding our Australian team. Critical to that effort has been our focus on proactively engaging and establishing partnerships with Australian industry to identify and invest in ‘best of breed’ local capabilities to deliver a truly sovereign capability solution for Australia.”
To achieve this, LMA has conducted roadshows in every capital city and across large regional centres in Australia, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, most recently held a virtual industry session with New Zealand’s defence industry to investigate partnerships for AIR6500. From these engagements LMA has identified and validated more than 130 Australian SMEs as potential industry partners with technologies that could be incorporated into the AIR6500 program solution.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our steadfast commitment to work with industry, academia and government to create opportunities for technology transfer, grow the top-level skills base and capabilities to add additional high-tech jobs that help build a stronger, more secure Australia,” said Froelich.
Joe North, chief executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, said that there is a vitality and capacity within Australian industry to deliver world-class defence capabilities. “We are committed to working with like-minded Australian industry partners to elevate the technology base in Australia and to help advance the innovative Australian high technology businesses so they can actively contribute to a major defence program and shape Australia’s future defence capabilities. We have a proven track record of partnering closely with Australian industry as stewards, to develop, integrate, build, supply and maintain future technologies and capabilities within Australia and New Zealand,” North said.
LMA actively supports an Australian sovereign defence capability which sees a highly skilled workforce of over 1100 across Australia who partner with defence and industry to deliver, integrate and sustain advanced technology solutions. In turn, the company’s programs and projects directly support a further 5,000 Australian jobs in the advanced manufacturing and high technology defence industry sector.
Industry partner, Nick Cooper, chief information officer at Consilium Technology, said he is delighted to be a partner to LMA to develop an advanced open architecture technology to deliver a world-class solution for Australia’s future joint all domain capability.
Consilium Technology is excited by this terrific opportunity to contribute to this major defence program that will strengthen Australia’s national security. We are pleased to be collaborating with Lockheed Martin Australia to explore and create advanced technologies that will support our nation’s ability to protect against future threats,” Cooper said.