Lockheed Martin Australia has provided extensive specialist support for the Royal Australian Navy and its Destroyer Enterprise, conducting a range of complex Aegis upgrades onboard HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane at Garden Island, Sydney, during the challenging COVID-19 lockdown period.
Working with the Royal Australian Navy and industry partners, Lockheed Martin Australia as part of a combat system enterprise approach performed specialist upgrades and deep maintenance on the Aegis Weapons System including SPY-1D(V) radar systems onboard the RAN Hobart Class destroyers during May and June.
This period has demonstrated Australian sovereign sustainment of the Aegis Weapon System in the absence of planned US onsite support due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This is the first time a Lockheed Martin international team has planned and executed an upgrade to an Aegis-equipped ship outside of the US.
As part of this work, the Aegis Computer Program, complex Aegis ‘light off’ activities and deep system maintenance was performed onboard HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, ultimately ensuring all systems were operating correctly and the ships were operationally ready to commence their next mission.
Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive Joe North said, "This effort demonstrates Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in action at its best, with the global expertise performing the knowledge transfer to the local team during the program execution phase and thereby allowing sovereign talent to deliver the sustainment efforts on the ground in Australia."
Lockheed Martin Australia worked hand-in-glove with the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Support Unit, ship’s crew, local and international government and industry partners over a three-week period to complete the installation of key Aegis systems upgrades to the Hobart Class destroyers in line with the RAN’s capability requirements.
North added, "Delivering multiple Aegis Combat System upgrades, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, is a testament of genuine partnerships and teamwork at play and reaffirms our resolute commitment to delivering on the Royal Australian Navy’s mission-critical priorities for the Hobart Class destroyers."
With more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships deployed worldwide across six navies including the US Navy, the Spanish Navy and the Republic of Korea Navy, the Royal Australian Navy is able to unite with the wider family of Aegis allied nations, ensuring greater global interoperability, increased maritime domain awareness and safeguards for our collective navies’ missions.
"We also remain committed to supporting the Hunter Class frigate program and continuing to build innovative sovereign industrial capability in support of Australia’s future defence technology needs," North added.
Australia's Hobart Class guided missile destroyers (DDG) are based on Navantia's F100 Alvaro De Bazan Class of frigates and incorporate the Lockheed Martin Aegis combat management system with Australian-specific equipment to ensure that the RAN is capable of defending Australia and its national interests well into the next two decades.
The Hobart Class' Spanish counterparts entered service with the Spanish Navy beginning in the early 2000s, working alongside key NATO and US maritime assets.
When deployed to the Persian Gulf, the F100s became the first foreign Aegis-equipped ships to fully integrate into a US Navy Carrier Strike Group, while the class has also successfully deployed as the flagship of NATO's Maritime Group Standing Reaction Force, highlighting the individual and interoperable capabilities of Navy's new destroyers.
The vessels will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.
The Hobart Class Combat System is built around the Aegis Weapon System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY-1D(V), will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
HMAS Hobart carries a range of weapons systems, including a Mk41 Vertical Launch System containing SM-2 Standard Missiles and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk 45 five-inch main gun, Phalanx close-in weapons system, two 25mm Typhoon guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defence.
HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney are based at Garden Island in Sydney.
Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.