The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a new $37.5m contract to Lockheed Martin to provide deployable mission system facilities for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The portable facilities will house top secret systems support staff and provide the RAAF with information and connectivity to operate in remote and all terrain areas.

Australian Defence Industry minister Christopher Pyne said: “Acquiring these new portable, Australian made cabins is an important part of our F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme and will mean that our top secret systems and personnel who support our jets on the ground will be securely housed and protected.”

Pyne said that the current contract will be able to generate an additional 35 new defence industry jobs.

Of the new positions, 15 will be directly employed by the company across Adelaide, Canberra and Newcastle, and another 20 industry jobs will be created in the Newcastle region.

Completion of the initial contract period is expected for April 2020.

"The portable facilities will house top secret systems support staff and provide the RAAF with information and connectivity to operate in remote and all terrain areas."

Lockheed Martin Australia has collaborated with a small-medium enterprise, Varley Group, to deliver these facilities to the RAAF, including a range of computing and information technology solutions.

Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro said: “We know that investing in local Australian enterprises, particularly those involved in advanced manufacturing, will transform our local and international industry.

“Varley has been a proven performer on our F-35 programme and further expanding this partnership gives us the local skills and expertise to improve our support to Defence.”

The new facilities will also offer transportable, secure and environmentally controlled workspaces for personnel from the Australian Defence Force to operate information support systems for the F/A-18F Super Hornet, E/A-18 Growler and P-8 Poseidon.

Image: Artist’s impression of transportable, deployable mission system facilities. Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.