Government invests $500 million in defence capability and delivers job boost

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The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

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(02) 6277 7840

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24 April 2024

The Albanese Government is investing $500 million in next-generation air missile defence as part of an unwavering commitment to strengthen national security and provide the Australian Defence Force with the capabilities it needs to make Australians safer.

The contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver the next phase of the Joint Air Battle Management System is expected to generate at least 230 jobs directly related to its operation, along with many more during construction.

The project, also known as AIR6500, will also create 300 indirect jobs in Australia’s air and missile defence supply chain and provide opportunities for Australian industry to benefit from a global $83 billion export market, underscoring the Government’s support for growing Australia’s sovereign defence industry.

This next phase of the Joint Air Battle Management System will deliver the core command-and-control architecture for integrated air and missile defence, providing greater situational awareness of advanced air and missile threats, and increased interoperability with international partners.

It will deliver improved network architecture, next-generation deployable air-battle management systems and initial integration with priority platforms, such as major combatant ships and F-35A Lightning II aircraft.​

The Defence Strategic Review outlined an enhanced, all-domain integrated air and missile defence capability as critical to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Project AIR6500 will also deliver four advanced air-defence radars, manufactured by Canberra-based CEA Technologies, with the first delivery scheduled this year.

This contract signing builds on work already conducted by Lockheed Martin Australia, including preliminary systems required for the in-country development of the Joint Air Battle Management System.

To deliver this project, Lockheed Martin Australia will partner with other companies including Boeing Defence Australia, C4i, Leidos Australia, Lucid Consulting Australia, Raytheon Australia, Shoal Group, and Silentium Defence.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“This $500 million contract continues the work by the Albanese Government on next-generation air missile defence.

“It is a further demonstration of our unwavering commitment to strengthen national security and provide the Australian Defence Force with the capabilities it needs to make Australians safer.

“The Albanese Government is actively creating opportunities for Australian industry, through the entire supply chain of small-and-medium enterprises, as we deliver these critical defence capabilities.

“This is an investment in our national security but also an investment in a future made in Australia which will support local businesses and create hundreds of jobs and support many more.”

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