"A submarine's combat system is essentially the eyes, ears and sword of the boat," said Raydon Gates, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand. "A submarine's tactical effectiveness depends on a fully integrated suite of the best technologies from Australia and around the world. The ability to seamlessly integrate the best sensors, sonar, radar, navigation, imagery systems and weapons will give Australia's future submarine the tactical advantage it needs- and that is what Lockheed Martin Australia will deliver."
The laboratory includes a reconfigurable submarine command centre to test and validate the Royal Australian Navy's concept of operations in a simulated operational environment. The laboratory will feature advanced computer processing with reconfigurable hardware, and collaboration space dedicated to bringing known and proven technologies to the next generation of Australian submarines.
Establishing a submarine combat system laboratory in parallel with early stages of submarine design leverages a key lesson learned from the success of the U.S. Navy's Virginia class submarine program. "The philosophy we've adapted as the U.S. Navy's submarine combat system integrator is one of an open business model based on the premise that no one company has all the answers," says Raydon Gates. The laboratory will leverage Lockheed Martin's presence and Australian industry cooperation.
"The laboratory is all about risk reduction. It gives us the flexibility to work with the SEA 1000 hull designers and combat subsystem providers in every step of the process," said Gates. "It's a proven methodology that also reduces development costs and ensures continued interoperability with an affordable, disciplined plan for sustainment."
Lockheed Martin will collaborate with Saab Australia and Thales Australia & New Zealand in the submarine combat system architecture laboratory initiative. Collectively, Lockheed Martin, Saab and Thales have a very strong record and well-respected maritime domain knowledge and expertise.
Adam Waldie, Underwater Systems Business Development Manager, Thales Australia said "Thales has built world leading Submarine and Anti Submarine Sonar capability tailored for Australian requirement over several decades. This includes in country design, manufacture, integration and sustainment. Thales also remains focused on supporting Australia's submarine combat system integrators and providers alike with our skills and expertise through initiatives such as the laboratory."
Saab Australia managing director Dean Rosenfield highlighted the tremendous potential of the collaboration to build the submarine combat system laboratory. "We have a highly talented engineering team and their work in naval combat systems and system integration is well regarded," he said. We are proud to bring our expertise to the laboratory initiative that will ultimately benefit Australia's future submarine program.
The laboratory capitalises on Lockheed Martin's heritage of more than 40 years of demonstrated submarine combat systems integration methodology on submarines for seven nations. Lockheed Martin is a full life cycle combat system integrator with expertise in all phases of design, test, integration, certification, delivery and sustainment.