Raytheon selected for ground-based air-defence system with NASAMS

rtn_222612The federal government has approved the development of a short-range ground-based air-defence system to improve protection for deployed personnel.

A single-supplier limited request for tender will be released to Raytheon Australia in the first half of this year that will see the development of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) for use by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

This project is the first step in the development of the Australian Army’s contribution to the Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) program. Valued at up to $2 billion, the system will provide the innermost layer of an enhanced capability, and will be operated by the 16th Air Land Regiment.

Defence will collaborate with Raytheon and CEA Technologies to look at integrating a CEA radar into an upgraded NASAMS. Defence and Raytheon will also investigate using the Hawkei protected vehicle as a potential platform for the system’s missile launchers.

“A modern and integrated ground-based air-defence system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” said Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.

“Australia’s current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed servicemen and women.”

Raytheon stated that approval of the LAND 19 Phase 7B Ground Based Air and Missile Defence project identifies Raytheon Australia as the Prime System Integrator.

Raytheon said its proposal will be based on the NASAMS capability, which can utilise different launchers, radar technologies and missile types, adding that an option known as MEDUSA would incorporate Australian AESA sensor technology into the baseline NASAMS.

“The Raytheon offering draws on a common launch rail that can make effective use of multiple weapons from existing Australian Defence Force inventory,” said Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward.

“As the prime systems integrator, our solution will provide short and medium-range defence capability using in-service multipurpose AIM-9X and AMRAAM missiles, providing a system to meet Army’s ground-based air and missile defence requirements.”

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne stated that Australian industry content will be maximised.

“Through a risk-mitigation contract, the government will ensure there are opportunities for Australian industry participation, with direct access to Raytheon Australia for local businesses to showcase their abilities,” Minister Pyne said.

“As part of this contract, Raytheon will hold workshops across the country to engage with local industry, giving them an opportunity to be part of the supply chain for this project.”

Defence will complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to the government for final consideration of the project in 2019.