The Australian Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the AIR6500 Phase I project.

The two companies will participate in the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) ‘AIR6500 Phase I Project (AIR6500-1): Competitive Evaluation Process Stage 2 (CEPS2)’.

AIR6500-1 will provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a Joint Air Battle Management System (JBAMS). This system will form the architecture at the core of the ADF’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability.

It is expected to provide higher situational awareness and defence against modern air and missile threats.

JBAMS will also connect assets across air, land, sea, cyber and space for improved defence against primary threats to national security.

It will enable ADF to maintain high interoperability levels with coalition partners.

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Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “Defence found the down-selected companies demonstrated the best understanding of its capability requirements, as well as a strong commitment to developing Australian industry capability.”

Boeing Defence Australia and Raytheon Australia also took part in the first phase of the competitive bid. They will continue to participate in developing the JBAMS and support the IAMD programme.

Australia will announce the successful strategic partner for the JBAMS in late 2023.

Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive Joe North said: “Since 2016, we have been highly committed to supporting the AIR6500-1 project.

“Our Lockheed Martin Australia AIR6500-1 team has steadily grown over this time to over 80 Australians in Adelaide, Canberra and Williamtown.”