Latest contract a big deal for air defence

2 May 2024

In a significant collaboration with Australian industry, Defence has formally engaged Lockheed Martin Australia through a head contract to advance the multi-million-dollar Joint Air Battle Management System under Project AIR6500. 

The contract, valued at about $500 million dollars, is part of the Federal Government’s work to enhance the ADF’s integrated air and missile defence capability, as detailed in the National Defence Strategy and Integrated Investment Program. 

AIR6500 Project Director Group Captain David Hood said the Joint Air Battle Management System was a key command and control element of the capability and was being delivered at speed using an agile development approach.

“The [system] will allow us to efficiently and effectively sense and respond to air and missile threats,” Group Captain Hood said. 

The contract with Lockheed Martin Australia, signed in March, would deliver the next stage of the system.

“The Joint Air Battle Management System acquired under Project AIR6500 will provide the foundational architecture for Defence’s integrated air and missile defence,” he said.

“This milestone follows on from the now completed Advanced Work Arrangement, which facilitated Lockheed Martin Australia's mobilisation and the initial delivery of system capabilities, concurrent with negotiations of the head contract.”

Group Captain Hood said a number of Australian companies, such as CEA Technologies and Northrop Grumman Australia, would continue to support the project, along with companies subcontracted to Lockheed Martin Australia, including Boeing Defence Australia, C4i, Leidos Australia, Lucid Consulting Australia, Raytheon Australia, Shoal Group and Silentium Defence. 

 Project AIR6500 is also set to supply four advanced air defence radars, manufactured by CEA Technologies, with initial delivery scheduled for later this year.



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