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Lockheed Martin Australia announces Future Sub R&D grant winners

Lockheed Martin Australia has announced a series of research and development grants to support local academic and industry partners to develop advanced technologies for the $50 billion Future Submarine Program.

The R&D seeding grants for an investment in excess of $900,000 will help local academic and industry partners to develop advanced technologies for the Future Submarine Program. 

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The recipients have been selected after a competitive process, and two recipients attended a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Australia’s state-of-the-art Combat System Laboratory in South Australia to acknowledge their participation in the R&D program. 

The program is representative of the long-term, multimillion-dollar investment in R&D to provide a roadmap for future-proofing the advanced technologies needed to deliver and maintain regional superiority. 

Vince Di Pietro, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the announcement, saying: “We are very proud that nine of the 10 organisations selected are Australian SME organisations and universities, and this is an important realisation of Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to develop and deliver the Future Submarines as a sovereign capability.”

Under the first phase of the program, Lockheed Martin Australia will be awarding $75,000 seeding grants to these organisations – for a total investment of more than $900,000. 

Some organisations have secured multiple grants, with 13 R&D concept papers to be developed. Recipients already under contract include:

  • Acacia Research
  • L3 Ocean Systems and L3 Oceania
  • Flinders University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • 3D at Depth 

The announcement has been welcomed by Flinders University – which has been selected as a research partner for the topic: Identification of novel operational concepts associated with the use of uninhabited and autonomous systems by a submarine

Professor Colin Stirling, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, was elated with the announcement, saying: “I am delighted that Flinders University has been selected by Lockheed Martin Australia to develop advanced technologies for the Future Submarine Program.

“Research and development is an essential element of building sovereign capability. This announcement further demonstrates Flinders University’s growing national and international reputation as a defence industry partner of choice,” he added. 

Also in attendance at the LMA announcement were L3 Oceania who had been selected to develop two white papers for the research topics: Methods and technologies to improve communications with and between submarines; and Improving the performance of video communications for use between a submarine and emergency rescue forces

“We’re very pleased to be selected as an R&D industry partner to Lockheed Martin Australia for the Future Submarine Program. This grant will enable us to explore advanced and innovative technologies to improve communications with above-the-water platforms and between submarines, including the enhancement of video communications for submarines at depth to enable emergency rescue operations,” Scott Elson, sales and marketing director for L3 Oceania, said.

Di Pietro finished by saying, “Initiatives such as our R&D program for the future submarines demonstrates our commitment to work with Australian academia and industry to discover and evolve the best of breed technology not just for Australia but also potentially to a global audience.”

Following a further RFI process, another round of seeding grants are expected to be announced later in 2019.

Lockheed Martin Australia announces Future Sub R&D grant winners
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