• Saab's 9LV combat System. Saab Australia is mandated to provide naval combat systems to future RAN warships. Credit: Saab Group
    Saab's 9LV combat System. Saab Australia is mandated to provide naval combat systems to future RAN warships. Credit: Saab Group

A product of the partnership of Saab Australia and the University of South Australia (UniSA) has borne a new agreement for naval combat console design.

In May 2017 Saab Australia partnered with UniSA to form the Defence Technologies Institute to focus on collaborative research and teaching opportunities in the SA defence sector.

UniSA students in STEM related fields have been working with Saab to build industry experience that will equip them for successful defence sector careers. Saab hosted projects for students from Engineering, IT, Maths and Sciences this year, varying from single semester to yearlong honours’ projects.

UniSA researchers with Saab are exploring augmented and virtual reality, and human centred solutions for combat readiness. These two research areas have been the focus of a number of workshops, masterclasses and seminars attended by hundreds of Saab employees, showing a great willingness to engage in future research development opportunities, and
helping to guide the design of future projects.

“Saab is working closely with UniSA so that for generations to come, graduates from this partnership will build a skilled, technologically savvy workforce with defence capabilities,” Saab Australia MD Andy Keough said.

Following the success of the activities in 2017, Saab and UniSA have agreed to collaborate on the design of future combat consoles for both submarines and surface naval platforms.

UniSA’s newly appointed Director of Defence (and former Saab Australia business development manager) Matt Opie, said the agreement is “a great example of collaboration between industry and academia to design and deliver enhanced capabilities to the Australian Defence Force”.

The collaboration, which will take place under the Institute, will bring together Saab’s deep experience in design and knowledge of high performance consoles for combat management with UniSA’s industrial design and human factors expertise.

Minister for Education and Training and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said he welcomed the collaboration.

“This highlights the potential of what some of the brightest minds in our universities can achieve when they team up with cutting-edge businesses to solve the challenges industry faces,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Saab and UniSA’s collaboration is also skilling up the next generations of South Australians to take advantage of the jobs boom from the Turnbull Government’s $89 billion naval shipbuilding investment.”

Saab Australia has been selected to provide the combat management system and tactical interfaces for all ships in the Royal Australian Navy.

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