Stakeholders from across defence industry and academia are now being invited to propose solutions to enhance sovereign guided weapons capability.
Defence has 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 is currently in the process of defining key requirements for the enterprise, and is expected to provide details of a forthcoming information session to interested stakeholders.
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 (LRASM SL) variant.
The agreement will specifically focus on booster and rocket motor technologies.
The establishment of a sovereign enterprise, accelerated earlier this year amid mounting regional threats, forms part of the government's investment in the early development of long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes and land strike capabilities.
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The investment would also see the nation’s current and future submarine and surface fleets fitted with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles with a range of approximately 370 kilometres, and maritime land strike missiles with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometres.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.