• Sub-Lieutenant Jason Mooney explains the Plotting Table to a group of  RAN Midshipman on board HMAS Farncomb. Defence
    Sub-Lieutenant Jason Mooney explains the Plotting Table to a group of RAN Midshipman on board HMAS Farncomb. Defence

Lockheed Martin Australia, together with the Department of Defence, has announced the appointment of Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia Pty Ltd (Safran) to design three major Combat System components for Australia’s Future Submarine Program.

The $36.77 million contract, which will be in force until May 2023, will see Safran deliver the preliminary and detailed designs for the combat system’s optronics search and attack mast, navigation radar and navigation data distribution components.

The majority of the work will be done by Safran subsidiary Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia, in Botany, NSW. The contract scope will also include delivery of prototypes and interface simulators to enable Lockheed Martin Australia, as the combat system integrator, to conduct further test activities and validate the integrated performance of the combat system in its Adelaide-based Combat System Architecture Laboratory (CSAL).

While the contract represents the initial phase of development activities (including the development of design up to and including the component-level critical design reviews), it will also see Safran establish sovereign capabilities at its new Botany facility for the build, integration and ongoing sustainment of these components.

As part of its delivery of this work, Safran will subcontract two Australian companies, Acacia Systems and Thomas Global Systems, for the design and development of software and hardware, respectively. The contract will result in more than 11 full-time positions being created and sustained locally across Safran and its partners.

Speaking at Pacific 2019 last week, Lockheed Martin Australia and NZ Chief Executive, Joe North, congratulated Safran on the appointment and said he looked forward to working with the Australian team to support the RAN with enhanced sovereign capability.

“Lockheed Martin Australia, in concert with the Department of Defence, is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry involvement through all phases of the Future Submarine Program,” he said.

Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia CEO, Alexis de Pelleport, said the contract represents an important step towards strengthening the company’s footprint and workforce in Australia.

“The contract with Lockheed Martin Australia and the Department of Defence will allow us to meet our shared objective of supporting local employment and developing Australian expertise at our Botany facility and through our local partners,” he said.

Safran recently outlined its research priorities to academics, including multi-function sensors and sensor-fusion technologies, autonomous systems research relevant to both manned and unmanned platforms, ‘collaborative robots’ (cobots) and exoskeletons.

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