Raytheon Australia has announced that it will establish a regional manufacturing and maintenance hub for the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter if it is selected for the Australian Army’s Project LAND 129 Phase 3 tactical UAS requirement.
In conjunction with Schiebel Pacific, Air Affairs Australia, and Innovation Composites, Raytheon says the hub will be responsible for supporting S-100s based in the Asia-Pacific region.
The facility will be located at the Albatross Aviation Technology Park on the western side of HMAS Albatross with Air Affairs’ and Raytheon’s established facilities. Raytheon says the hub will inject $50 million into the local economy, and will cater for 20 new jobs.
The company announced it would be offering the S-100 for LAND 129 Phase 3 in July. “Our LAND 129 Phase 3 solution is backed by Raytheon Australia’s 20 year investment in sovereign complex systems integration, which allows us to offer a world-class system to meet the Australian Army’s future tactical UAS requirements,” Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward said in a statement.
“The development of this regional UAS sustainment hub will generate even more growth and jobs for the Shoalhaven region,” he added. “We will work with local suppliers to foster genuine Australian industrial sovereignty, prioritising Defence’s operational needs.”
General manager of Schiebel Pacific Limited, Andrew Watson added, “We are fully committed to the Australian market and are proud of our efforts in setting up the UAS manufacturing and sustainment hub for the Shoalhaven region. The hub enables us to closely work together with all involved partners and sets us up perfectly for the LAND 129 Phase 3 program.”
The LAND 129 Phase 3 program is hotting up, with the four contenders – Raytheon Australia and Schiebel, Leidos Australia and Aeronautics, Textron Australia, and Insitu Pacific – likely to be reduced to either a single winner or a shortlist of two by December.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Project SEA 129 Phase 5 maritime TUAS program will follow about 12 months behind Army’s program, for which Raytheon and Schiebel are also expected to be leading contenders.