Defence Minister Peter Dutton will today announce that Lockheed Martin Australia and Raytheon Australia have been nominated as strategic partners to the Commonwealth for the delivery of the Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise.
The announcement – to be made at the opening of an upgraded Navy guided weapons maintenance facility at Orchard Hills in Sydney – also nominates the Australian Missile Corporation, the Sovereign Missile Alliance, and Aurecon Advisory as Australian sovereign industry partners to the prime contractors.
“I am pleased to announce Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia have been selected as initial industry partners of the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise,” Minister Dutton said in a 5 April release. “These two companies, along with their US-based parent companies, are the largest suppliers of guided weapons to Defence. We will be working with them to rapidly increase our ability to maintain and manufacture guided weapons and their components in Australia.
“Australia’s strategic environment is becoming more complex and challenging, the Indo-Pacific now sits at the epicentre of global strategic competition,” he added. “It is imperative that we work closely with like-minded countries and industry partners to develop a more capable military force to defend Australia. We know we need to work closely with our partners to bolster our self-reliance and this is another major step in delivering that sovereign capability here in Australia.”
“This is an incredibly complex undertaking that will see this new manufacturing capability built from the ground up. Accelerating the guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise will be a whole-of-nation endeavour. Our prime industry partners will work with a panel of local Australian-based providers to deliver an array of necessary infrastructure to support this program into the future. There will be many opportunities for Australian companies and workers, not just in manufacturing but in maintenance, infrastructure, research and development and test and evaluation.”
Together, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon supply the majority of the ADF’s precision guided weapons.
Raytheon supplies the RAAF’s AIM-120C/D AMRAAM and AIM-9X air-to-air missiles, the AMRAAM-ER surface-launched air defence missile, the AGM-154C-1 JSOW and GBU-53/B StormBreaker glide bombs, as well as the Navy’s SM-2/3/6 long-range and ESSM medium-range ship-launched anti-aircraft and ballistic missile defence missiles. Raytheon is also the US prime contractor for the KONGSBERG Naval Strike Missile and Joint Strike Missile family.
“Raytheon Australia is honoured to have been chosen as a Strategic Industry Partner in the new Defence Guided Weapons Enterprise,” Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Michael Ward said in a statement. “Building on our significant in-country capability and with the backing of our parent company, we look forward to working with Defence and our industry peer Lockheed Martin Australia, who has also been selected as a Strategic Industry Partner.
“Together, we will collaborate with the other enterprise partners to establish an enduring, local guided weapons capability,” Ward added. “I congratulate the Government and Department of Defence for their efforts to prioritise this decision and their acknowledgement of the critical capability that industry can bring to this enterprise.”
Lockheed Martin makes the air-launched AGM-158B JASSM-ER strike and AGM-158C LRASM naval strike missiles, the land-based Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) for which Australia signed a cooperative development agreement in August 2021, and the AGM-114 Hellfire anti-armour missile carried by the ADF’s ARH Tiger, MH-60R Romeo Seahawk, and planned AH-64E Apache helicopters.
“This is a strategically important and vital national undertaking, and we will respond to the Australian Government’s expectations by growing a skilled local workforce and working with Australian small and medium enterprises to build resiliency in supply chains,” Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald said.
“We look forward to working with Raytheon Australia and partnering with the Australian Defence Force and defence industry to fulfil the sovereign defence capabilities that Australia needs to maintain a decisive advantage across all domains.”
The Australian Missile Corporation is a subsidiary of NIOA, and includes a number of Australian companies including Quickstep, Black Sky Aerospace, Air Affairs, IAI, Elbit, MMCLD, QinetiQ, Allweld Manufacturing, Milspec Manufacturing, Thomas Global Systems, Moog Australia, Stella Engineering, and Aeromech.
The Sovereign Missile Alliance was formed in August 2021 as a joint venture between EOS and Nova Systems.