Australian Defence Force to increase Navy’s intelligence capabilities

Five respondents selected to progress to the next phase of the procurement process.

The Australian Government is boosting the Royal Australian Navy’s intelligence capability through Defence’s Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System Continuous Development Program.

The Program has reached a new milestone following the selection of five respondents to progress to the next phase of the procurement process.

The Acting Minister for Defence, Marise Payne announced BAE Systems Australia, Insitu Pacific, Northrop Grumman Australia, Raytheon Australia, and Textron Systems Australia had been shortlisted for Block One of SEA129 Phase 5.

“This Program will acquire maritime unmanned intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting aircraft systems which will complement current sensors and systems on Navy’s ships, while boosting a ship’s area of surveillance,” Minister Payne said.

“Today’s milestone is a result of the Government’s unprecedented A$270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade, which is equipping the Australian Defence Force with world-class, cutting edge capability.”

Block One of the programs is the first phase of a 30-year continuous development program, with five-year rolling block upgrades, which will incorporate new technology upgrades.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the project was delivering on the Morrison Government’s commitment to maximise Australia’s defence industry involvement in the acquisition, operation, and sustainment of defence capability.

“By incorporating new technology through block upgrades every five years, the program supports the development of Australia’s Unmanned Aircraft System industry, and provides the Navy with a leading edge maritime surveillance capability,” Minister Price said.

“This process will allow Australian businesses to be directly involved in providing greater situational awareness for the Fleet, in particular the new Arafura Offshore Patrol Vessels, while strengthening long-term job growth and security.”

Recently, the defence industry will continue to export crucial technology as part of a joint Australian and US program, following the awarding of a A$150 million contract to BAE Systems Australia.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price today announced a five-year contract with BAE Systems for in-service support and round production of the next generation of Nulka decoys and launcher systems.

The Nulka system is a rocket-propelled active decoy system launched from a ship that is designed to lure anti-ship missiles away from their intended target.

“Nulka is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most significant Defence exports,” Minister Price said.

“The joint contract continues the Morrison Government’s investment in the Nulka Program and – crucially – will maintain about 60 jobs in Victoria, 15 in South Australia and 15 in New South Wales.

“Nulka is fitted to both Australian and United States Navy warships and forms part of the anti-ship missile capabilities that provide protection to personnel.

“This contract will see the next generation of Nulka capability fitted to the Royal Australian Navy’s new platforms, such as the Hunter Class frigates.

“The Nulka program provides warships with a highly effective, all-weather defence against anti-ship missiles, utilising cutting-edge hovering rocket, autonomous system and electronic technologies.”

The system was first installed on Royal Australia Navy surface ships in the late 1990s and is currently fitted to the Canberra Class LHD, Anzac Class Frigates and Hobart Destroyers.

BAE Systems will utilise an extensive supplier network of small-to-medium Australian companies in metropolitan and regional areas to deliver the required systems, giving Australian defence industry the opportunity to be involved in the program.




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