The development of the Australian Army’s LAND 19 Phase 7B short range air defence (SHORAD) system is continuing to progress, with KONGSBERG Defence Australia commencing manufacturing work on the first NASAMS Fire Distribution Centre (FDC).
Being developed in partnership with Raytheon Australia, KONGSBERG’s NASAMS system was selected by the Commonwealth to fulfil the Army’s SRGBAD requirement in March 2019, and a contract was signed for the system just three months later. The system will utilise government-furnished Thales vehicles and radars developed by Australia’s CEA Technologies, and will incorporate AIM-9X, AMRAAM, and possibly AMRAAM-ER missiles for a within and beyond visual range (WVR/BVR) deployed air defence capability.
The FDC shelter is being manufactured by Adelaide-based Zenith Custom Creations on sub-contract to Daronmont Technologies which itself is a sub-contractor to KONGSBERG Defence Australia. The start of manufacturing follows the successful completion of a production readiness review for the project.
“We’re proud to partner with Australian businesses such as Zenith Custom Creations, and develop a sovereign industry capability in the manufacture and support of NASAMS,” KONGSBERG Defence Australia General Manager, John Fry said in a statement. “Zenith Custom Creations have an excellent track record and have demonstrated their ability to manufacture to demanding specifications, which will be suitable for not only the Australian Defence Force, but for KONGSBERG’s global supply chain.”
Raytheon Australia Managing Director, Michael Ward added, “Some of Australia’s most innovative technologies will be incorporated into the enhanced NASAMS solution for the Australian Army. As prime contractor for LAND 19 Phase 7B, we are committed to Australian Industry Capability for the program, and establishing an enduring sovereign Integrated Air and Missile Defence capability.”
Raytheon Australia also celebrated the ramping up of construction of its new Centre for Joint Integration (CJI) at Adelaide’s Mawson Lakes, with an inspection of the site by South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall. The $50 million CJI is the site for the integration and delivery of NASAMS and other capabilities, and will create 200 jobs during its construction and 300 defence industry jobs once completed.