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Lockheed Martin, QinetiQ partner to compete for Australia's joint air battle management system

Lockheed Martin is partnering with British defence and aerospace company, QinetiQ, to compete in the second stage of the evaluation process for Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) AIR6500 Phase 1 Project (AIR6500-1).

In a media release on 10 March, the two companies said they have signed “a teaming agreement to deliver comprehensive test and evaluation, verification and validation, certification and assurance services” for AIR6500-1's competitive evaluation process (CEP).

The two companies said they will work together to design a test, and an evaluation and governance framework “that supports risk reduction in the transition into the AIR6500-1 acquisition”.

“The teaming agreement marks an important focus on designing a highly robust, independently validated, agile AIR6500-1 programme solution that supports the RAAF's vision to transform the air force into a next-gen-enabled force,” said Steve Froelich, AIR6500 programme executive at Lockheed Martin Australia.

According to the Australian government, AIR6500-1 will provide “the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a joint air battle management system (JABMS), which will form the architecture at the core of the ADF's future integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) capability”.

It will enhance situational awareness and protection of deployed ADF soldiers “from increasingly advanced air and missile threats” as well as enable increased levels of interoperability with the country's allies, the Australian government said.

The Australian government has invested AUD2.7 billion (USD1.9 billion) for AIR6500-1 and expects to announce a successful strategic partner for the JABMS in late 2023.

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