Australian universities and industry to benefit from more than $900,000 investment to develop sovereign capabilities for Australia’s Future Submarines.
Defence technology and innovation company, Lockheed Martin Australia has announced research and development (R&D) seeding grants for an investment in excess of $900,000 in local academic and industry partners to develop advanced technologies for the Future Submarine Program.
The R&D grant recipients represent the best of breed in innovation and high value skills present in the academic and defence industry communities, with 9 out of 10 recipient organisations being an Australian SME or an Australian university.
The recipients have been selected after a competitive process and two recipients attended a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Australia’s state-of-the-art Combat System Laboratory in South Australia, to acknowledge their participation in the R&D Program. The Program is representative of the long-term, multimillion-dollar investment in R&D to provide a roadmap for future-proofing the advanced technologies needed to deliver and maintain regional superiority to the future submarine fleet.
Under the first phase of the Program, Lockheed Martin Australia will be awarding $75,000 seeding grants to these organisations – for a total investment of more than $900,000.
Some organisations have secured multiple grants, with 13 R&D concept papers to be developed. Recipients already under contract include: Acacia Research, L3 Ocean Systems, L3 Oceania, Flinders University, University of Melbourne and 3D at Depth.
“We are very proud that 9 of the10 organisations selected are Australian SME organisations and universities, and this is an important realisation of Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to develop and deliver the Future Submarines as a sovereign capability,” said Vince Di Pietro, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
“At Lockheed Martin Australia we work very hard to ensure our relationships with academia, and industry partners makes a real difference and raises the technology base for Australia.
“Initiatives such as our R&D Program for the Future Submarines demonstrates our commitment to work with Australian academia and industry to discover and evolve the best of breed technology not just for Australia, but also potentially to a global audience”.
The announcement has been welcomed by Flinders University – which has been selected as a research partner for the topic: Identification of novel operational concepts associated with the use of uninhabited and autonomous systems by a submarine.
“I am delighted that Flinders University has been selected by Lockheed Martin Australia to develop advanced technologies for the Future Submarine Program”, said Professor Colin Stirling, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University. “Research and development is an essential element of building sovereign capability. This announcement further demonstrates Flinders University’s growing national and international reputation as a defence industry partner of choice.”
Also in attendance at the LMA announcement were L3 Oceania who had been selected to develop two White Papers for the research topics: Methods and technologies to improve communications with and between submarines; and Improving the performance of video communications for use between a submarine and emergency rescue forces.
Scott Elson, Sales & Marketing Director for L3 Oceania said, “We’re very pleased to be selected as an R&D industry partner to Lockheed Martin Australia for the Future Submarine Program. This grant will enable us to explore advanced and innovative technologies to improve communications with above the water platforms and between submarines; including the enhancement of video communications for submarines at depth to enable emergency rescue operations.”
“We’ve had many years’ experience working with the RAN on submarine communication systems for the Collins Class, as well as maritime ranging operations, so we’re excited to put the specialist skills and knowledge we’ve developed from working on these systems to further Australia’s capability with the Attack Class. We’re proud to be a part of such a significant program supporting the Commonwealth’s sovereign shipbuilding capability.”
Following a further RFI process, another round of seeding grants are expected to be announced later in 2019.
About Lockheed Martin Australia
Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.