AirAsia Pacific

Lockheed Martin to Build Joint Air Battle Management System for Australia

Lockheed Martin has secured a contract to develop a Joint Air Battle Management System for the Australian military.

The 500-million Australian dollar ($325 million) agreement will see the production of an integrated air and missile defense solution to counter high-speed enemy assets.

Known as the AIR6500, the project’s first phase will deliver a core command and control capability that coordinates weapons and technologies, boosting situational awareness against advanced threats.

The effort is expected to improve network architecture, other next-generation deployable management systems, and coordination between priority platforms such as F-351A Lightning II fighter jets and primary combatant vessels.

In addition to the joint battle management solution, AIR6500 will supply four air defense radars developed by Canberra-based CEA Technologies, with the first radar to be delivered later this year.

Bolstering Strategic Cooperation

Lockheed wrote that the resulting capabilities will support interoperability with the country’s international military partners and Australian Defence Force applications.

Joint Air Battle Management System
Lockheed’s Joint Air Battle Management System will connect sensors for improved missile detection. Photo: Lockheed Martin

“AIR6500-1 will give Australia and our allies a greater level of connectivity and interoperability to counter current and future air and missile threats,” Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand CEO Warren McDonald said.

“In a contested and fast-moving environment, AIR6500-1 will give decision makers more time to consider and respond to a situation – time in these circumstances is a precious commodity.” 

Before the Phase 1 award, Lockheed developed an operator evaluation system to assist future operators in related tests and secure feedback on the battle management systems’s functions and design for future developmental stages.

Supporting Local Industry

The Australian government will leverage partnerships with local industry to fill in most of the work required to complete the program.

Collaborations on associated works will involve Leidos Australia, Boeing Defence Australia, Raytheon Australia, Lucid Consulting Australia, Silentium Defence, C4i, and Shoal Group.

About 300 jobs in the nation’s air and missile defense supply chain are expected to be supported throughout the initiative.

Meanwhile, more than 230 opportunities will be created for cyber, engineering, software development, and project management roles, most of which will be sourced from Williamtown, Adelaide, and Canberra.

“Together with the Department of Defence, we are harnessing the ingenuity found in Australian small-to-medium enterprises, industry primes and academia to build a transformational capability that will establish Australia’s Defence Force as one of the most highly advanced in the world,” Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems C4ISR VP Erika Marshall stated.

Related Articles

Back to top button