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    Credit: Defence

Updated 13:19, 05 August

The government has selected Lockheed Martin Australia and Northrop Grumman Australia to continue to the final stage of the competitive evaluation process (known as CEPS Stage 2) for the ADF's new Joint Air Battle Management System.

“The government's $2.7 billion investment in a sovereign Joint Air Battle Management System will deliver a critical capability to defend against increasingly advanced air and missile threats,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said in a media release.

“Through the competitive evaluation process, Australian industry has demonstrated its versatility and adaptability to provide innovative proposals in the challenging field of Integrated Air and Missile Defence.

“The Joint Air Battle Management System will connect our ships, aircraft and other capabilities together in a way that multiplies their defensive power.”

In the same release, Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated the successful participants on their 'well-considered and highly competitive responses.'

“Defence found the down-selected companies demonstrated the best understanding of its capability requirements, as well as a strong commitment to developing Australian industry capability,” Minister Price said.

“I look forward to seeing the advanced technical solutions and prototypes that will be developed as these companies refine their final offering for the Joint Air Battle Management System.”

The competitive evaluation process will select an Australian company to lead the delivery of the Joint Air Battle Management System and provide the core architecture of Defence’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence capability.

“Northrop Grumman’s unmatched expertise in developing complex, multi-domain, multi-mission weapons systems will help meet Australia's sovereign Integrated Air and Missile Defence needs both today and into the future," Christine Zeitz, General Manager Northrop Grumman Asia Pacific, said.

“We will employ a highly collaborative ‘JABMS Enterprise’ approach that will bring together capabilities developed by Australia’s Defence industry, including active and passive sensors, intelligent agents, data fusion and processing, through a solution architecture that is flexible, open, modular, secure and adaptable by design.”

“Today’s announcement marks the next step in Air 6500 Phase 1 to work in partnership with the ADF and industry partners to support the RAAF's vision to transform the Air Force into a next-gen-enabled force through delivering a sovereign highly advanced Joint Air Battle Management System to protect Australia’s security," Joe North, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said.

"We look forward to collaborating with Australian industry and the Royal Australian Air Force to progress the AIR6500-1 solution as part of the CEPS2. We would like to congratulate Northrop Grumman for also being down selected for the CEPS2."

Boeing Defence Australia and Raytheon Australia also participated in the first stage of the competitive evaluation process, and Defence says they will 'continue to be involved in developing the Joint Air Battle Management System and supporting the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Program.'

The successful strategic partner for the Joint Air Battle Management System is expected to be announced in late 2023.

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