Leidos Australia has issued a call for expressions of interest from Australian companies, especially SMEs and indigenous enterprises, to participate in Project SEA129 Ph.5. This intends to acquire a new Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) capability for the Navy to enhance operational and tactical decision making by Commanders whilst on maritime operations. Leidos Australia announced earlier this year it had formed a team with Israeli firm Aeronautics Limited, owned by Rafael. The primary capabilities that Leidos Australia is seeking support from Australian companies are:
- Payloads for Tier 1 UAVs
- Payloads for Tier 2 UAVs
- Antenna systems – multi-band directional tracking antenna systems suitable for UAV datalinks; motorised telescopic antenna masts capable of lifting payloads of 10 kg or greater
- Marinisation solutions – treatments (chemical or otherwise) used to improve the survivability of electronic and mechatronic systems against sea-water intrusion
- Emerging MUAS and Unmanned technologies – including, but not limited to, Payloads, Future Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting effects, Data Analysis Systems, IR Reduction technology etc.
Leidos Australia is also seeking expressions of interest from Australian companies who are willing and able to supply Australian-manufactured Small Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) UAVs with a minimum endurance of 45 minutes. Recognising the rapid technological developments within this class of UAV, and the lead time before any potential procurement by the Commonwealth, Leidos Australia says it will continue to monitor the market and consider contemporary solutions for this capability should it be required under the Project.