Australia MoD press release
The Morrison Government has approved the accelerated acquisition of improved weapon capabilities for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) at a total cost of $3.5 billion.
Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP today announced that Defence will accelerate the acquisition of:
- The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) for the Royal Australian Air Force;
- The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet; and
- Maritime mines to secure Australia’s ports and maritime approaches.
“With Australia’s strategic environment becoming more complex and challenging, our ADF must be able to hold potential adversary forces and infrastructure at risk from a greater distance. These world-class strike weapon systems will equip our forces to better protect Australia’s maritime approaches and when necessary, contribute to Coalition operations in our region. The JASSM-ER will enable the FA-18F Super Hornet, and in future the F-35A Lightning II, to engage targets at a range of 900km.”
Peter Dutton, Australian Defence Minister
Acquisition of the Kongsberg NSM to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile in the ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers provides a significant enhancement to Australia’s maritime strike capability – more than doubling the current maritime strike range of our frigates and destroyers.
Commencing in 2024, ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers will have the NSM capability installed.
The combination of NSM and previously announced Tomahawk Cruise Missiles is the best mix of capability to meet Australia’s needs and is proven in service with our key alliance partner, the United States.
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Lockheed Martin’s role
According to a press release issued by Lockheed Martin, the announcement paves the way and sets the conditions for Australia’s self-reliance, supporting the sovereign defense capabilities the country needs to maintain a decisive advantage across all domains.
“This is a strategically important and vital national undertaking, and we will respond to the Australian Government’s expectations by growing a skilled local workforce and working with Australian small and medium enterprises to build resiliency in supply chains,”
Warren McDonald AO, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
This decision will support advanced manufacturing, engineering, and technology jobs, accelerating the establishment of a highly skilled workforce and providing opportunities for future upgrades in areas such as sensors, warheads, and extended missile ranges.
Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division, based out of Grand Prairie, Texas, will work with Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver for this vital, long-term customer. Missiles and Fire Control is a recognized designer, developer, and manufacturer of precision engagement aerospace and defense systems for the U.S. and allied militaries.
“The GWEO selection is a win-win for Australia and Lockheed Martin. It represents a storied legacy of performance from the Missiles and Fire Control team in helping to connect and protect Australia’s national interests. This has helped pave the way for a bright future of industrial development and production led by our partners at Lockheed Martin Australia.”
Ken Kota, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Missiles and Fire Control.