Defence industry representatives have attended an information seminar detailing the Commonwealth government’s plan for the sovereign guided weapons program.
Earlier this month, Defence published a new request for information (RFI) on AusTender, seeking input from defence industry and academia regarding capacity and interest in supporting the Commonwealth government’s $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise.
The initiative aims to address gaps outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update by providing stakeholders, both SMEs and established primes, with opportunities in advanced manufacturing through the establishment of industry partnerships.
The enterprise ecosystem is expected to support Defence’s inventory of guided weapons and explosive ordnance, while also including:
- education and training;
- test and evaluation;
- maintenance and repair;
- storage and distribution; and
Defence hosted an information session earlier this week to provide more detail to industry representatives and academics, with representatives from the Joint Capabilities Group and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) meeting virtually with approximately 350 stakeholders.
Participants included manufacturers, SMEs and researchers.
Major General Andrew Bottrell, head of land systems, CASG, said Defence is pleased with the interest they’ve received since the publication of the RFI.
“Since becoming head of land systems, I continue to be impressed by the capabilities and commitment of Australian industry, and the munitions and guided-weapons sector is no different,” MAJGEN Bottrell said.
“It is not too late to help shape the future and I encourage all companies who believe they have something to offer to respond to our request for information.”
Organisations not traditionally involved in the defence industry supply chain have also been invited to consider involvement in the program.
Several stakeholders have already expressed interest in supporting the program, including local munitions company NIOA, which has set up the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC).
A number of firms have joined the AMC consortium, including Quickstep, Moog Australia, Black Sky Aerospace, and Thomas Global Systems.
Lockheed Martin Australia and Thales Australia have also finalised a teaming agreement to facilitate co-operation in the design, development and production of Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile – Surface Launch variant.
The agreement will specifically focus on booster and rocket motor technologies.
The RFI for the sovereign guided weapons program is scheduled to close on 2 August.