The decision further supports the development of an Australian combat systems industry that will underpin the Australian Government’s continuous Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
As the preferred supplier for the nine Hunter Class anti-submarine warships, BAE Systems is responsible for the design, integration, testing and activation of the combat system which will be fitted to the entire fleet.
The Hunter Class combat system is the eyes and ears of the warship, able to detect and identify aircraft, submarines and ships at great distance to offer the frigate’s command team maximum situational awareness and the capability to defend itself against or engage with an enemy.
In 2017, the Government announced that it would equip Australia’s navy with the world’s best technology. The Combat Management System for the new Hunter Class frigate fleet will be the Aegis System, together with an Australian tactical interface to be developed by Saab Australia.
As part of a competitive tender process and following a rigorous evaluation, Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia were selected because they each offered strengths and technical expertise which will best complement BAE Systems’ capability.
This decision will create and sustain 100 highly skilled combat systems engineering jobs, which will grow to over 200 as the ship goes into production.
BAE Systems Australia Hunter Class Frigate Program Managing Director Nigel Stewart said:
“As the preferred supplier for the Hunter Class frigates, we are building a world class platform and combat systems’ engineering team and I am proud to include Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia.
“The Hunter Class combat system is a vital piece of the frigate’s infrastructure which will give the men and women who operate these ships the capability to protect the nation against airborne, surface and under-sea threats.
“We can be proud that this capability is being created in Australia and that the Hunter Class program will sustain the existing skills and experience of the engineers already delivering capability to the Navy.”
Vince Di Pietro, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said:
“Lockheed Martin Australia is delighted to partner with BAE Systems and Saab Australia to integrate the Hunter Class Combat System into Australia’s Future Frigates. Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience in the production and integration of Aegis combat systems around the world. We look forward to partnering with the Commonwealth, the United States Navy, BAE Systems and Saab Australia to integrate, operate, and maintain the system right here in Australia, by Australians.”
Managing Director of Saab Australia Andy Keough said: