The Government has provided approval for a single supplier limited Request for tender (RFT) for the development of a Short Range Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system to improve protection for deployed personnel under Project Land 19 Phase 7B.
The tender will be released to Raytheon Australia in the first half of 2017 to develop its highly successful National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) for the ADF. Raytheon will be the Prime System Integrator (PSI) for Army's future GBAD capability.
Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne said the project is the first step in the development of the Australian Army’s contribution to the ADF’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) Program announced in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
The Government will invest up to $2 billion in the system which will provide the inner most layer of Australia’s enhanced integrated air and missile capability. Raytheon’s proposal for second pass consideration by Government will be based upon the Raytheon/Kongsberg NASAMS capability that is fielded in seven nations, including the US and Norway. The system can utilise different launchers, radar technologies and missile types for a range of different ground based air and missile defence missions.
In collaboration with Defence and CEA Technologies, Raytheon Australia will also investigate the option of the Medusa system; an incorporation of Australian AESA sensor technology into the proven baseline of NASAMS.
“Medusa is the only system that can provide short and medium range capability using in-service ‘dual use’ AIM-9X and AMRAAM missiles, as well as AMRAAM-ER (still in development), providing a single system to meet both Army’s short range and RAAF’s medium range Ground Based Air and Missile Defence requirements,” Raytheon Australia MD Michael Ward told ADM in September 2016.
The capability will be operated by the Army’s 16th Air Land Regiment.
“A modern and integrated ground-based air defence system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” said Minister Payne.
“Australia’s current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed servicemen and women.”
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the Government will ensure there are opportunities for Australian industry participation, with direct access to Raytheon Australia for local businesses to showcase their abilities via a Risk Mitigation Contract.
“As part of this contract Raytheon will hold workshops across the country to engage with local industry, giving them an opportunity to be part of the supply chain for this project worth up to $2 billion.
“Defence will collaborate with Raytheon Australia and Canberra-based CEA Technologies to look at integrating the Canberra-based firm’s radar into an upgraded NASAMS.
“CEA Technologies’ ground breaking phased array radar system has already been incorporated into Australia’s ANZAC class frigates and this project will trial the technology in a land-based role.”
Through the Risk Mitigation Activity Defence and Raytheon will also investigate using Thales Australia’s ‘Hawkei’ protected mobility vehicle, manufactured in Bendigo, Victoria, as a potential platform for the system’s missile launchers.
Defence will complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to Government for final consideration in 2019.
For more read ADM Editor Katherine Ziesing's article covering Air 6500 and Land 19 Phasse 7B.