Defence companies strike deal to deliver combat systems capability

Three of the country’s largest defence companies have signed an agreement with the Department of Defence that will secure the growth of a long-term Combat Systems Integration (CSI) capability for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) major surface combatants.

BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Saab Australia and Defence have signed a CSI Collaboration Agreement (CCA), that will see the integration of the complex combat systems for the RAN’s existing guided missile destroyers and Hunter class frigates undertaken in Australia.

The collaboration will support CSI in surface vessels fitted with the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system – produced by Lockheed Martin and with an Australian Interface developed by Saab Australia.

Managing Director, BAE Systems Australia – Maritime, Craig Lockhart said CSI would be key to delivering the high-end warfighting capabilities needed for Australia’s naval surface fleet.

“Through close collaboration, we will establish an enduring Combat Systems Integration sovereign industrial capability for our nation,” he said.

A project team consisting of representatives from all four organisations has been assembled to work collaboratively to design, integrate, test and deliver the integrated combat system.

Vice President of Operations Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand, Steve Froelich, said the company was proud to partner on this key project.

“Working together makes us stronger,” he said. “The CCA aligns all four organisations on a joint path of success to ensure Australia’s security, economic growth and ongoing military interoperability with the US and allied partners across the Indo-Pacific.”

It’s a partnership that will strengthen sovereign capability added Managing Director, Saab Australia, Andy Keough CSC.

“Through this collaborative partnership, and as the nation’s sovereign combat management system provider for the Royal Australian Navy’s Surface Fleet, we are strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capability and jointly developing the skilled workforce we need to deliver future programs.”

Image caption (L-R): Saab Australia Chief Operating Officer, Ben Gulliver; BAE Systems Australia – Maritime Managing Director, Craig Lockhart; Director General Surface Combatants and Aviation, CDRE Andrew Quinn; FAS Major Surface Combatants and Combat Systems, Sheryl Lutz; Director General Maritime Integrated Warfare Systems, CDRE Rob Elliot; Vice President of Operations Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand, Steve Froelich