Combat Systems Agreement Boosts Sovereign Shipbuilding Capab
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This news is classified in: Defense Missiles / Rockets Contracts Navy

May 25, 2023

Combat Systems Agreement Boosts Sovereign Shipbuilding Capability

Integration of the complex combat systems on the Royal Australian Navy’s existing guided missile destroyers and Hunter class frigates will be done in Australia, following an agreement between three of the country’s largest defence companies and the Department of Defence.

BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Saab Australia and Defence have signed a Combat System Integration (CSI) Collaboration Agreement (CCA) that will grow a long-term, cost-effective and agile CSI sovereign industrial capability for the Navy’s major surface combatants. The agreement is another significant step towards the development of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia.

Specifically, the collaborative relationship 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.

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Through the CCA, BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Saab Australia and Defence have established the Combat System Integration – Integrated Project Team (CSI-IPT). The CSI-IPT team will comprise professionals from the Department of Defence and an equal mix of combat systems integration professionals from each of the industry organisations, facilitating a ‘one team’ approach.

As part of the CSI-IPT, all four organisations will work collaboratively as a united combat systems team to design, integrate, test and deliver the integrated combat system for the Hunter class frigates and the major combat systems upgrade to the Hobart class destroyers.

BAE Systems Australia — Maritime Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said:
“Key to delivering the high-end warfighting capabilities for Australia's naval surface fleet is the design, installation and integration of the combat management systems into a warship, and that’s why we worked so hard to secure this collaborative arrangement with Defence, Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia.

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

Vice President of Operations Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand, Steve Froelich, said:
“As the manufacturer of Aegis, the world’s most advanced combat system, Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to integrate, deliver and sustain this key maritime capability that safeguards our nation together with our valued partners – Defence, BAE Systems and Saab Australia.

“Working together makes us stronger. 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.”

Saab Australia Managing Director, Andy Keough CSC, said:
“Saab looks forward to working with our collaboration partners to build on the decades of combat system integration work we have successfully performed in partnership with the Department of Defence.

“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.”

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