Lockheed Martin signs $37m contract to bring systems design to Australia

Daniel Linares / Safran

Lockheed Martin has selected Australia-based Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia to provide the designs for the optronics search and attack mast, navigation radar, and navigation data distribution components.

These designs and components will be part of Australia’s Future Submarine Program, a $50 billion project to construction and deliver the Attack-class submarine until 2050.

Specifically, this contract will involve the delivery of prototypes and interface simulators to allow Lockheed Martin Australia to test and validate the integrated performance of the combat system.

Although limited to the initial phase of development activities, Safran has announced that as part of the contract it will set up the capability for the build, integration, and ongoing sustainment of the components at a new facility in Botany, NSW. This will see Safran establish a sovereign industrial capability for the delivery of the components, said Safran CEO, Alexis de Pelleport.

“The contract with Lockheed Martin Australia and the Department of Defence will allow us to meet our shared objective of supporting local employment and developing Australian expertise at our Botany facility and through our local partners,” he said.

Involved in the design and delivery are two local companies, Acacia Systems, who will handle the software, and Thomas Global Systems, who will manufacture the hardware. The local component is a key part of Lockheed’s presence in Australia, according to Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive, Joe North.

“Lockheed Martin Australia, in concert with the Department of Defence, is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry involvement through all phases of the Future Submarine Program,” said North.

The development of a local industrial capacity is a key outcome of the major defence contracts that are currently underway in Australia, and this partnership is an example of this, highlighted North.

“Safran represents the international benchmark in submarine optronics and navigation systems, and we are honoured to welcome the company and its partners to our Australian combat system team,” he said.