Lockheed Martin Australia has successfully executed a range of complex Aegis upgrades onboard Royal Australian Navy Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWDs) HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) and HMAS Brisbane (D 41).
The upgrades, in support of the Navy and the Destroyer Enterprise, were conducted at Garden Island, Sydney during the challenging COVID-19 lockdown period.
The company, working with the RAN and industry partners as part of a combat system enterprise approach, performed specialist upgrades and deep maintenance on the Aegis Weapons System (AWS) including SPY-1D(V) radar systems onboard the destroyers during May and June.
This is the first time a Lockheed Martin international team has planned and executed an upgrade to an Aegis-equipped ship outside of the U.S. According to a Lockheed Martin Australia statement, the upgrades has demonstrated Australian sovereign sustainment of the Aegis Weapon System in the absence of planned US onsite support due to COVID19 restrictions.
As part of this work, the Aegis Computer Program, complex Aegis ‘light off’ activities and deep system maintenance was performed onboard HMAS Hobart and HMAS Brisbane, ultimately ensuring all systems were operating correctly and the ships were operationally ready to commence their next mission.
“This effort demonstrates Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in action at its best, with the global expertise performing the knowledge transfer to the local team during the program execution phase and thereby allowing sovereign talent to deliver the sustainment efforts on the ground in Australia,” Joe North, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said.
Lockheed Martin Australia worked hand-in-glove with the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Support Unit, ship’s crew, local and international government and industry partners over a three-week period to complete the installation of key Aegis systems upgrades to the Hobart Class Destroyers in line with the Royal Australian Navy’s capability requirements.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement,” Mr North said. “Delivering multiple Aegis Combat System upgrades, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, is a testament of genuine partnerships and teamwork at play and reaffirms our resolute commitment to delivering on the Royal Australian Navy’s mission-critical priorities for the Hobart Class Destroyers.”
“We also remain committed to supporting the Hunter Class Frigate program and continuing to build innovative sovereign industrial capability in support of Australia’s future defence technology needs,” Mr North said.
With more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships deployed worldwide across six navies including the U.S. Navy, the Spanish Navy, and the Republic of Korea Navy, the Royal Australian Navy is able to unite with the wider family of Aegis allied nations, ensuring greater global interoperability, increased maritime domain awareness and safeguards for our collective navies’ missions.