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Lockheed says its AIR6500 plan will create $82bn export market

written by Staff reporter | February 24, 2023

Lockheed Martin Australia believes its proposed AIR6500 solution will create an export market valued at $83 billion for Australian defence businesses.

According to the global prime at an event in its Canberra headquarters, the program will enable local companies to sell into the global air and missile defence system enterprise.

AIR6500 is the name for the government’s $2.7 billion project to revolutionise the RAAF’s ability to monitor missile threats.

Lockheed is competing against rival Northrop Grumman, and the pair have already seen off Boeing and Raytheon in the first phase of the evaluation process, with a final decision due late this year.


It comes after the global prime said in October it would invest $74 million in a new initiative to encourage the industry to collaborate and research new technologies related to AIR6500.

The national integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) ecosystem could include a physical site at RAAF Base Williamtown and will proceed even if the prime’s bid to win the government contract isn’t successful.

“Our focus on Australian industry, and how they contribute to our proposed solution, has the potential to provide a pipeline into the global IAMD enterprise,” Warren McDonald, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia New Zealand explained.

Meanwhile, it has invested over $100 million into developing its own AIR6500 solution.

As part of its proposal, the global prime is leveraging the expertise of companies such as QinetiQ Australia, Leidos Australia, Consunet, Consilium, C4I, Silentium, Penten, Lucid Consulting Engineering and Daronmont.

Kendell Kuczma, International Business Development Director of Rotary and Missions Systems for Australia and New Zealand, explained that the company understands the “gravity” of the program as fundamental to the safety of Australian.

“Lockheed Martin carefully hand selected our partners, using our extensive experience in delivering battle-proven IAMD systems to not only design a solution trusted to defend Australia and its national interests but to choose those with the skills to contribute to it,” Kuczma said.

“By leveraging Australian companies with a strong understanding of Defence, we will create a system that connects Defence’s modern systems and display it to commanders who can make decisions with improved clarity and situational awareness.”

Representatives from Lockheed Martin Australia explained that the company has been developing its solution for seven years.

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