Lockheed Martin Australia has been awarded a $33 million design contract to support the upgrade of the Aegis Combat System on the RAN fleet of three HOBART-class Destroyers. This contract forms part of a rolling-wave of upgrades that will integrate the Aegis Combat System Baseline 9 software into the Hobart-class Destroyers for the first time. Baseline 9 will also equip the RAN’s planned nine HUNTER-class frigates.
Allied to the purchase of SM-2 Block III and SM-6 surface-air missiles, this will ensure Australia’s sea based integrated air and anti-ballistic missile defence capability and create a technological edge to protect deployed naval forces.
Under the two-year SEA 4000 Phase 6 Combat System Design Agent (CSD-A) contract, Lockheed Martin Australia will perform most of the program work in Adelaide, maximising opportunities for its sovereign Future Submarine Program workforce across 40 newly created engineering and project management roles.
This contract award will create opportunities for Lockheed Martin Australia’s industry partners, such as Relegen, a Sydney-based maritime data specialist that will support configuration updates associated with CSD-A activities. This work provides an enduring baseline for the RAN’s ongoing sustainment of the Aegis Combat System beyond the completion of this contract.
As the RAN’s steward of the Aegis capability Lockheed Martin Australia will deliver advanced naval combat systems engineering services under the CSD-A contract. This will achieve the landmark integration of the Aegis Combat System Baseline 9 software into the Hobart-class Destroyers.
Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald AO, CSC, welcomed the SEA 4000 Phase 6 CSD-A contract award.
“As the manufacturer of Aegis, the world’s most advanced combat system, Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to deliver and sustain capabilities that play a critical role in the defence of Australia’s interests, as well as those of our allies in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr McDonald said.
Lockheed Martin Australia’s Acting Director of RMS Operations and Integrated Warfare Systems & Sensors Line of Business Lead, Rob Milligan reiterated the company’s commitment to partnerships.
“The Lockheed Martin Australia team will leverage the best of Australia’s industrial capability base to deliver complex Aegis Combat System Baseline 9 upgrades, while supporting a harmonised combat systems enterprise across both HOBART-class Destroyers and future HUNTER-class frigates.”
More than 100 Aegis-equipped ships are deployed worldwide. Once the RAN’s HUNTER-class frigates are in service the RAN will become the second-biggest operator of the Aegis combat system family in the world.