$1b Saab Australia missile system to create hundreds of jobs

Saab Australia will develop a single combat management system (CMS) as part of federal government investment of more than $1 billion towards Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan that aims to create hundreds of jobs across the defence industry.

The South Australia defence technology company will partner with CEA Technologies and Lockheed Martin Australia to support the missile and air warfare capabilities of the Future Frigate Program.  

Malcolm Turnbull wants to mandate the way Australia’s Future Frigates are procured, meaning the government will move away from a “one-ship one-tender” approach.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Pacific 2017 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney, the prime minister said the looming missile threats such as those posed by North Korea “must be met” and that Australia’s navy demands a “whole-of-nation response”.

“In the complex threat environment that our navy will face in the future, we need the best capability for our Future Frigates that can deal with contemporary threats both under and over the water,” Turnbull said.

“A capability that ensures we can share information on those threats with other assets, allies and partners, including the US Navy, and can be upgraded to meet emerging threats, supported and further developed through close ties with Australian industry.”

Turnbull said the investment in new naval capabilities is a “key part of our commitment to a safe and secure Australia” and promised it will also revitalise heavy engineering and advanced manufacturing.

“It will see the regeneration of Australia’s current naval fleet over the next 50 years – the largest investment in our defence naval capability ever in peacetime and is at the very forefront of technology,” he added.