Lockheed Martin Australia has signed a new contract with the Australian Department of Defence for ongoing sustainment of the Tactical Air Defence Radar System (TADRS).

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is using the system for air surveillance operations.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that the five-year A$50m ($34.6m) contract will sustain the mobile TADRS.

Additionally, the contract will generate five new positions in Williamtown, New South Wales.

Price said: “This is a great example of the importance of partnerships between Defence and industry with the creation of additional highly skilled positions in what is a vibrant regional defence hub.

“The TADRS complements the Morrison government’s investment in Australia’s surveillance and intelligence data collection and analysis capability. The importance of this capability was highlighted in the recently released 2020 Force Posture Plan.

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“With more than 90% of the contract dedicated to Australian industry content, this project not only delivers new technology for a cutting-edge Australian Defence Force (ADF) but also represents an enormous opportunity for Australian industry.”

Lockheed Martin Australia currently employs a team of 25 personnel for the TADRS, comprising hardware and logistics engineers, technicians, programme managers, commercial and business staff.

In 2014, the company was awarded the contract to deliver the TADRS Block 3 Upgrade Project.

In May this year, the Australian Government was to develop the infrastructure at RAAF Base Townsville in Queensland.

Using local procurement policies, the government invested A$40m ($26m) to develop new facilities for defence’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

Construction work under the contract is to be executed by local companies and employees.