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Lockheed announces new partner for missile defence bid

written by Staff reporter | October 14, 2022

Lockheed Martin has announced it will partner with comms systems provider C4i for its proposal to revolutionise Australia’s ability to detect incoming missile threats.

The prime is competing against rival Northrop Grumman in its bid for the Commonwealth government’s $2.7 billion AIR6500 project. The two have already seen off Boeing and Raytheon in the first phase of the evaluation process, with a final decision due late next year.

Lockheed said the partnership is expected to prioritise the integration of locally developed communications systems for use within the Joint Air Battle Management System’s C2 networks as well as enhancing the security, rapidity, and interoperability of the RAAF’s Integrated Air and Defence Missile capability.

Lockheed Martin Australia explained that the system will be underpinned by a human machine interface to network operators with an array of systems such as data, radio, telephony, facility control, and recording to facilitate rapid information driven decision making.


Kerrie Murphy, sales and marketing director at C4i, welcomed the opportunity to partner with Lockheed Martin Australia and develop the system.

“C4i is delighted to work with Lockheed Martin Australia on AIR6500-1, which further builds on our joint work for the Air Battle Management enterprise,” Murphy explained.

“C4i is committed to delivering a purpose-built cyber-proof communication system that enables the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to communicate securely and seamlessly across multiple domains and in the most demanding operations.

“We provide secure voice C2 systems that can scale to support hundreds of operators [to] connect, allowing operational flexibility, multiple data paths and no single point of failure. This ensures that personnel on the ground or in the air have the freedom to complete the task at hand knowing the system behind them is always up to the job.”

Kendell Kuczma, Lockheed Martin Australia’s international business development director of Rotary and Missions Systems, explained that the partnership demonstrates the prime’s commitment to building stronger sovereign defence capability.

“Lockheed Martin Australia is delighted to collaborate with C4i.”

“We understand the ADF needs reliable, fast, secure voice communication systems they can depend on during operations. This contract demonstrates our commitment to build a sovereign voice communication system for AIR6500-1 to enable rapid decision making at tactical and strategic levels of command and control across joint force operations,” Kuczma said.

“This vital work strengthens the cyber security of Lockheed Martin Australia’s open systems architecture program solution for AIR6500-1 to meet current and future operational needs of the ADF.

“Our trusted record of delivering highly sophisticated C2 joint all domain platforms, combined with C4i’s cutting-edge expertise in interoperable C2 voice systems, means we are the natural strategic partner of choice to deliver an AIR6500 system of systems that will ensure persistent defence against future air and missile threats to protect Australia’s national security.”

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