Lockheed Martin Australia invests $74m in new Air Defence Centre

Lockheed Martin AIR6500 capture team pictured together within the Endeavour Centre, Lockheed Martin Australia House, Canberra. Image credit: Lockheed Martin Australia

Lockheed Martin Australia is investing $74 million to establish a National Integrated Air and Missle Defence (IAMD) Ecosystem in Australia. 

The National IAMD Ecosystem is intended to position Australia for a key role in the IAMD global supply chain by bringing government, industry, and academia together to create, enhance, and maintain IAMD capability for the longer term. 

The ecosystem will bring connectivity, infrastructure, technology, and processes to organisations and support connectivity to stakeholder nodes across Australia that will allow low-cost access and opportunity regardless of location, Lockheed Martin said in a media release

“IAMD is a mission that spans all services and requires a high degree of integration to be effective. It is bigger than any one project, and the Ecosystem is a mechanism that will provide the enduring aspect of Australian Industry Capability (AIC) that is so often elusive,” said Warren McDonald,” said Warren McDonald, CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand. 

According to the company, the ecosystem’s concept was developed with accelerating workforce skilling and collaboration at a national level in mind. The approach seeks to create cutting-edge capabilities that generate Australian economic benefits, jobs, and export opportunities, which would, in turn, fuel additional workforce growth that keeps the cycle going. 

“As one of the leading IAMD companies in Australia, Lockheed Martin has a responsibility to uplift industry and help build the workforce of the future. We have more than 200 skilled IAMD professionals on staff today across a range of ADF projects,” McDonald said. 

“By fostering closer collaboration across industry, academia and government we can create a force-multiplying effect by bringing the brightest minds from across the nation to bolster national security through sovereign self-sufficiency. In the process it will solidify Australia’s role as a competitive provider of key capabilities that coalition partners will need going forward,” he added.

The IAMD ecosystem will also bring about significant decision advantages through advanced tools designed to optimise tactics, investments, and trade-offs in a setting where the ADF can put the capabilities on trial before proceeding with procurement. 

Lockheed Martin Australia’s investment will focus on two primary areas, which are a National IAMD Centre that will serve as a physical hub of the Ecosystem, and an R&D pipeline that will facilitate sovereign innovation through SMEs and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities.

“By enhancing integration and interoperability across all warfighting domains, the IAMD Ecosystem will improve situational awareness and support rapid decision-making on missions throughout the Indo-Pacific region,” said Kendell Kuczma, International Business Development Director of Rotary and Missions Systems for Australia and New Zealand. 

“Our investment in industry capability development as realised through technology transfer and innovation will position Australia as a leader in IAMD and create global export opportunities for local suppliers.”