Six of the Royal Australian Navy’s classes of vessels are set to be fitted with a ‘next generation’ combat management system under an expanded program.
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Defence has announced that Saab Australia’s contract to integrate ‘next generation’ combat management systems (CMS) to the Navy’s fleet has been expanded to include mine countermeasures and military survey vessels.
Accordingly, the combat systems will now be equipped to six of the Navy’s classes of vessels — Anzac, Canberra, Supply, Arafura, mine countermeasures and military survey vessels.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the bolstered project would help drive Saab Australia’s next phase of growth and investment in local industry.
“This project will create Australian jobs for engineers and project managers, developing further capability within the industrial supply chain and supporting a major, multimillion-dollar expansion of Saab’s South Australian and West Australian facilities,” Minister Price said.
“Saab’s investment and recruitment since signing their Enterprise Partnering Agreement with Defence in February 2020 is clear evidence that the Morrison government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan is creating jobs and delivering sovereign capability.
“In the first 12 months of the EPA, Saab has been awarded almost $20 million and welcomed 108 new staff across Australia.”
Saab Australia’s managing director, Andy Keough, welcomed the government's announcement and reflected on the capability benefits of the CMS program.
“The combat management capability of the RAN’s surface fleet has been underpinned by Saab’s 9LV CMS for over 30 years," he said.
"Saab has consistently grown this combat-proven capability to incorporate all aspects of combat systems engineering, development and sustainment, ensuring the unique requirements of Australia’s Navy continue to be met.
"The government’s enterprise approach has guaranteed sovereign control of advanced technologies, as well as the development of a long-term sustainable Australian CMS industry and opportunities for local SMEs in the defence supply chain."
According to Minister Price, Saab Australia has helped support sovereign shipbuilding capability by employing 600 highly skilled engineers, project managers and specialists.
“This is another major milestone for the Morrison government’s investment in a National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise, where $75 billion will be spent on maritime capabilities over the next decade,” the minister concluded.