Combat Systems collaboration to boost Australia’s shipbuilding capability

Image credit: BAE Systems

BAE Systems Australia has signed a Combat System Integration (CSI) Collaboration Agreement (CCA) with Lockheed Martin Australia, Saab Australia, and the Department of Defence to support the development of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia. 

In a recent announcement, BAE Systems said the agreement will expand a long-term, cost-effective, and agile CSI sovereign industrial capability for the Navy’s major surface combatants produced by Lockheed Martin and equipped with an Australian Interface developed by Saab Australia. 

The CCA establishes the CSI-Integrated Project Team, which will convene professionals from the Department of Defence and an equal mix of combat systems integration professionals from each of the industry organisations. 

All four organisations under the CCA will collaborate as a united combat systems team to design, integrate, test, and deliver the integrated combat system for the Hunter class frigates and the major combat systems upgrade to the Hobart class destroyers. 

“Key to delivering the high-end warfighting capabilities for Australia’s naval surface fleet is the design, installation and integration of the combat management systems into a warship, and that’s why we worked so hard to secure this collaborative arrangement with Defence, Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia,” said Craig Lockhart, maritime managing director for BAE Systems Australia. “Through close collaboration, we will establish an enduring Combat Systems Integration sovereign industrial capability for our nation.”

Andy Keough, managing director of Saab Australia, said the collaboration will strengthen Australia’s sovereign defence capability and jointly develop the skilled workforce the country needs to deliver future programs. 

“Saab looks forward to working with our collaboration partners to build on the decades of combat system integration work we have successfully performed in partnership with the Department of Defence,” Keough said. 

“As the manufacturer of Aegis, the world’s most advanced combat system, Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to integrate, deliver and sustain this key maritime capability that safeguards our nation together with our valued partners – Defence, BAE Systems and Saab Australia,” said Steve Froelich, vice president of operations for Lockheed Martin RMS Australia and New Zealand. 

“Working together makes us stronger. The CCA aligns all four organisations on a joint path of success to ensure Australia’s security, economic growth and ongoing military interoperability with the US and allied partners across the Indo-Pacific.”