The Commonwealth has signed a contract with prime contractor Raytheon Australia for the Enhanced NASAMS system for the Australian Army’s Project LAND 19 Phase 7B short range ground based air defence (SRGBAD) requirement.
The contract signature follows the April 2017 selection of NASAMS under the Commonwealth’s Smart Buyer initiative, and the March 2019 Gate 2 milestone for the selected Enhanced NASAMS system. Raytheon will lead a team that includes KONGSBERG as key sub-contractor, while CEA, Thales and Rheinmetall will provide the sensors and vehicles as government furnished equipment (GFE).
“Raytheon Australia will act as the prime systems integrator for the new air defence capability, which combines world-leading Australian radar technology with a highly effective air defence system,” new Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said in a statement.
“This capability will contribute to the protection of our servicemen and women from modern airborne threats and be based on the proven Raytheon/KONGSBERG National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) which is used by numerous countries, including the United States.”
The Enhanced system combines the launch canister, AMRAAM missile and KONGSBERG Fire Distribution Centre (FDC) elements of the baseline NASAMS, and adds advanced CEA phased array sensors, a Raytheon MTS-A EO/IR sensor, and Australian Army Thales protected mobility vehicles and Rheinmetall trucks.
“Due to the Government’s decision in 2017 to procure this capability through the smart buyer model, we have dedicated the past two years to advance the technical solution and programmatic aspects in close collaboration with our Army, CASG and KONGSBERG partners,” Raytheon Australian Managing Director Michael Ward said at the contract signature.
“During this time, we finessed an already good system to make it arguably the world’s best NASAMS capability tailored to meet Army’s unique requirements.
“A well-structured Risk Mitigation Activity, significant Australian industry engagement, and a measured level of company investment have allowed us to – collaboratively – reduce integration risk and develop a program that will not only deliver world-class capability but will establish enduring sovereign capabilities though a comprehensive Australian Industry Capability plan.”
New Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the signing of this contract marked an important milestone for the project. “I’m delighted that Australia’s most innovative technologies will be used as an integral part of one of the world’s best short range ground based air defence systems under Land 19 Phase 7B.”
The ADF will initially acquire two NASAMS batteries under LAND 19 Phase 7B, and the capability will be operated by Army’s 16 Regiment at Woodside near Adelaide.
An Australian Army NASAMS Fire Unit will comprise an FDC, a CEATAC radar, an MTS-A EO/IR sensor, and a number of canisters and/or Hawkei PMV-mounted high mobility launchers (HML) with AMRAAM missiles. It is expected that a fire unit will comprise an Air Defence Troop, and that three Troops will make up a Battery.
The FDC will interface with Army’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATADS), as well as the Elbit Battle management Systems (BMS) currently being delivered under Project LAND 200. For deployment, the NASAMS is compatible with all ADF strategic transport assets including the RAAF’s C-17 Globemaster III airlifter and the Navy’s Canberra class LHDs.
Integration work and production of the system will be conducted at Raytheon’s new Centre for Joint Integration (CJI) at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide. Raytheon anticipates the programs it will manage at the CJI will generate up to 300 new direct jobs over the next 10 years, not only through LAND 19 Phase 7B, but also with planned upgrades to the SEA 4000 Hobart class destroyers, and systems integration work on the SEA 5000 Hunter class frigates.
The Australian Army expects to take delivery of its first NASAMS battery in 2022 and to declare an initial operational capability (IOC) in 2023. Following the delivery of the second battery, the establishment of a stable sustainment organisation, and the construction of new base facilities for the capability, NASAMS is expected to achieve a full operational capability (FOC) in 2025.