Future Frigates: Saab set to make Australia a global combat systems hub
Already promising Defence vital sovereign control, the selection of Saab Australia to develop and integrate the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Future Frigates’ combat management system (CMS) could also deliver unprecedented local industry growth.
According to Saab Australia Managing Director Dean Rosenfield, should our bid be successful, it will be integral to further global sales and leading high end warship opportunities, as demonstrated by our recognition as a potential supplier for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and our investment in command and control, sensor management and cyber security.
“Saab Australia would be become one of the primary centres leading future development and innovation of the global Saab Group’s 9LV CMS family,” Mr Rosenfield said.
“It would make Australia a global force in combat systems development, potentially generate billions of dollars in defence export revenue, and nourish and sustain hundreds of jobs in South Australia. ”
Mr Rosenfield said this would be a satisfying “next step” for the Adelaide-based prime, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary, following the initial transfer of 9LV combat management system technology and three decades of local development.
“The technology transfer has worked in both directions continuously, ever since Saab Australia’s establishment in 1987, when we built and integrated the combat system for the original ANZAC Class frigates.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves, though. To make these plans happen we have to give Defence every confidence our Australian-developed 9LV system can provide the superior performance they’re seeking for the Future Frigates, with minimal risk, and within the timeframe they’re demanding. That’s our priority.”
Although not named as a mandatory inclusion for the Future Frigates, Saab Australia’s 9LV is the only in-service CMS to have been integrated with the mandated CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radar (PAR) suite.
The systems’ seamless performance in the ongoing upgrade of the RAN’s ANZAC Class frigate anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) capability has drawn widespread praise, including from former Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs: “The ASMD upgrade provides significantly enhanced self and local-area defence against modern anti-ship missiles. The complexity of the fighting scenarios is unsurpassed in the RAN’s history.”
Irrespective of the Australian Government’s decision on the Future Frigate CMS, however, Mr Rosenfield stressed, Saab Australia would remain determined to continue enhancing Defence sovereign control, providing in-service support for the three other 9LV equipped RAN ship classes, maximising Australian industry content and establishing further high-technology jobs through several internal and external initiatives.