Updated 05 April, 11:25
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have been chosen to deliver the Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEO), to initially enhance self-reliance and supply chain resilience, but with a future goal of developing a guided weapons manufacturing capability in Australia.
In March 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the creation of a $1 billion Sovereign Weapons Enterprise. The Raytheon and Lockheed Martin announcement follows a year-long search for a strategic industry partner to develop a sovereign guided weapons capability.
“I am pleased to announce Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia have been selected as initial industry partners of the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise," Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.
“These two companies, along with their US-based parent companies, are the largest suppliers of guided weapons to Defence.
“We will be working with them to rapidly increase our ability to maintain and manufacture guided weapons and their components in Australia.
“We know we need to work closely with our partners to bolster our self-reliance and this is another major step in delivering that sovereign capability here in Australia.
“Our prime industry partners will work with a panel of local Australian-based providers to deliver an array of necessary infrastructure to support this program into the future."
"It is an honour to welcome today’s announcement from the Government and Defence that Raytheon Australia has been chosen as a strategic partner in the Guided Weapons Enterprise, alongside our industry peer, Lockheed Martin Australia," Raytheon MD Michael Ward said. "Together, we look forward to building this critical capability for the Australian Defence Force – one that will exponentially boost our national sovereignty,"
"Raytheon Australia aims to contribute to this national security endeavour through our access to intellectual property and manufacturing know-how that will provide the foundation for this enterprise, while also growing a niche, local workforce – creating thousands of high-tech Australian jobs over the coming decade. Our parent company is the largest manufacturer of guided weapons in the world and it is our intention to bring that unique capability to Australia."
Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald welcomed the announcement as a 'watershed for Australia’s self-reliance and resilience.'
“Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to have been selected with Raytheon Australia as the Strategic Industry Partners that will work with other industry enterprise participants to realise the Australian Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise,” he said.
“This is a strategically important and vital national undertaking, and we will respond to the Australian Government’s expectations by growing a skilled local workforce and working with Australian small and medium enterprises to build resiliency in supply chains.
“We look forward to working with Raytheon Australia and partnering with the Australian Defence Force and defence industry to fulfil the sovereign defence capabilities that Australia needs to maintain a decisive advantage across all domains.”
The announcement comes as Minister Dutton officially opened a new $96 million state-of-the-art maintenance facility for Navy guided weapons in at Orchard Hills in Western Sydney.
"We are building new facilities and infrastructure to ensure we get the maximum lethal capability from our current missile stocks today and we are partnering with two of the world’s foremost missile makers to build our own manufacturing base in Australia in the future," Minister Dutton said.