• (L-R) QinetiQ Australia Managing Director, Greg Barsby and Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 Program Executive. (Supplied)
    (L-R) QinetiQ Australia Managing Director, Greg Barsby and Steve Froelich, Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500 Program Executive. (Supplied)

Lockheed Martin Australia and QinetiQ Australia have today announced a teaming agreement to support the former’s bid for the second stage of Defence’s Competitive Evaluation Process for the Air 6500 Phase 1 (Joint Air Battle Management System) program.

Under the agreement, QinetiQ Australia will provide test and evaluation, verification and validation, and certification and assurance services to the bid. QinetiQ becomes the second company, behind Leidos, to formally sign a teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin for the program.

“We needed a partner who can conduct test and evaluation of this very complex system that can have both the trust of the internal team doing the development and also the trust of the Commonwealth, and who understands the unique nature of test and evaluation,” commented Lockheed Martin’s Air 6500 Program Executive Steve Froelich.

Froelich said LMA is pursuing agile methodology in its Air 6500 development, which will see development and testing of capability carried out in real time. “Rather than waiting towards the end and delivering a big package, you get insight and not just oversight. So, your test and evaluation organisation has some insight which allows them to evaluate and sign off, you’re not building technical debt, you’re testing early, (and) getting to see how the system performs much earlier in the process.”

Greg Barsby, QinetiQ Australia’s Managing Director, said the partnership provides a “real opportunity” to deliver benefits not usually seen in defence projects, where test and evaluation has traditionally been conducted at the end of the capability development lifecycle. 

“This is a different approach: we’re integrated into the team and we’re part of the risk reduction activities right now. I think that will yield some real advantage, in having the team involved from day one – not only planning out the test and evaluation activities, but working with the development team to design out issues where we can,” Barsby said.

Australian Industry Capability (AIC) will play a major role in the delivery of a Joint Air Battle Management System for the Commonwealth and Lockheed Martin Australia says it has already identified 130 local companies which could play a role in the delivery of the program.

“We’ve signed up eight companies to work with us right now, we have an ongoing risk reduction program in place in Australia today, and it’s all about being ready on day one,” Froelich said.

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