12 contracts awarded to build superior submarine capability

12 contracts

Image credit: Lockheed Martin Australia.

Lockheed Martin Australia has awarded 12 contracts to Australian industry and academic organisations for a combined value of $900,000 under the Future Submarine Program, which will help develop emerging advanced technologies for the Attack Class Submarine combat system. 

This is the fourth cycle of research and development (R&D) contracts as part of the program, bringing the total whitepaper funding awarded to over $2.9 million across 25 Australian industry and research organisations. 

The program is based on an ongoing 9-month cyclic process funded by the Commonwealth and administered under the Lockheed Martin Australia contract. Each R&D cycle consists of proposals from industry and academia against a set of published R&D topics. 

After a competitive review and assessment of proposal responses, selected responses are awarded a contract to develop a whitepaper. Upon completion, further contracts may be awarded to selected respondents for Ongoing Capability Research. 

“Lockheed Martin Australia is working hand-in-hand with Australian industry and advancing high-tech research and development initiatives, to support Australia’s sovereign defence capability and build a regionally superior submarine capability for our nation and the Indo-Pacific,” Lockheed Martin ANZ chief executive Joe North said. 

“We are committed to partnering with industry and Australian universities to further expand Australia’s technology base and grow Australian sustainment capability in support of the Future Submarine Program. Australian industry is at the very heart of that opportunity.” 

A total of 41 responses were received across the eight R&D Cycle 4 topics. Cycle 4 responses showed interest in the program through participation from seven Australian states and territories and featured growth in participation by universities. 

Solicitations for the following topics under Cycle 4 projects were sought and the successful organisations awarded contracts of $75,000 are shown against each topic: 

  • Research Supporting the Development of Visual Sensor Prediction Tools – Contract awarded to elmTEK in SA  
  • Asset Maintenance Techniques – Contract awarded to Curtin University in WA 
  • Communications at Speed and Depth – Contract awarded to University of South Australia in SA 
  • Visualisation of Bioluminescence Data – Two contracts were awarded under this topic to AMC Search located in Tasmania and Molino Zhang and Associates in Victoria 
  • Above Water Laser Communication – Contract awarded to RMIT in Victoria 
  • Novel Recovery Approaches of Submarine-launched UUVs and UAVs – Two contracts were awarded under this topic to Flinders University in SA and AMC Search in Tasmania 
  • Intelligent Mission Recording – Contract awarded to Acacia Systems in SA 
  • Investigating Effective Anti-Fouling and Anti-Corrosion Treatments to Mitigate Sonar Array Degradation – Three contracts were awarded under this topic to Biofouling Solutions in Tasmania, Flinders University in SA, and Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria. 

The combat system R&D Program features an ongoing process to build ongoing Australian combat system R&D capabilities that have been scaled to meet the long-term needs. It will also help to develop future capability and technology for the Australian Submarine Force. 

“Right now, the Attack class submarine combat system is being designed, tested and integrated by Australians, in Australia, for Australia,” North said. 

The program includes a defined approach for transition of successful R&D outcomes into the evolving Attack class combat system baseline configurations.