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Saab Global

Engineering high-quality field hospitals

4 min read + Video

For the Australian Defence Force (ADF), high-quality healthcare in the field is a critical capability. Deployable hospitals for defence and humanitarian purposes must be able to provide lifesaving medical care to Australian troops and injured civilians in the harshest environments, including the unstable conditions of a battlefield.

As the prime systems integrator for Defence’s JP2060 Phase 3 project, Saab Australia understands the complexities of designing and implementing deployable health facilities for military and humanitarian uses. In partnership with world-class suppliers, the Saab-led team is delivering multiple health modules covering NATO Role 1 to 3 level clinical care. These modules will include such facilities as surgical theatres; X-ray, CT scanning and ultrasound equipment; trauma, intensive care units and wards; and critical support infrastructure. This will provide our troops with an equivalent standard of clinical care to what they would receive in Australia.


Our JP2060 Phase 3 delivery is underpinned by more than 30 years’ experience delivering innovative deployable solutions globally, including healthcare, sanitation, catering, water management and treatment, shelters and power generation.

Systems integration expertise is key to effective solution

Saab Australia is drawing on our depth of systems engineering expertise to integrate and coordinate the myriad components needed for the facilities to provide a world-class standard of healthcare in remote and harsh locations.


Our team of engineers working on JP2060 Phase 3 includes project, systems, electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineers, who are responsible for the timely delivery and integration of the health modules. Their role is to ensure that the remote modules can operate in all deployed environments, taking care of the patients, medical staff and defence personnel.

This involves ensuring the solution not only provides medical services but has power, plumbing, medical gases, kitchens, waste disposal and accommodation

The team’s biomedical engineers play a pivotal role in selecting and tailoring medical equipment for the project that will meet the Commonwealth’s specifications and will function in remote and tough conditions. In making these choices they must consider such variables as mode of transportation and operational environments, and make sure that the correct support systems, such as packaging, are in place for the equipment to survive during transport and operate effectively.

For example, if transported by plane, the equipment must be able to withstand high altitudes and low-pressure environments, as well as be readily accessible, easy to transport, and crew portable. While selected equipment for point of injury care must be ruggedized to operate in frontline battlefield conditions.

As most medical equipment has been designed for use in a sterile indoor space, it is also important that our engineers consider how the operational environment can be managed and maintained.

In weighing up these decisions, our engineering team draws on Saab’s three decades of experience in deployable solutions and the knowhow of our multiple strategic partners that are supplying medical and other equipment.

A flexible and adaptable approach to suit all domains

Saab has the ability to consistently transfer this lifesaving health expertise across maritime, land and air defence domains. However, the way the health modules work together and how they are packaged will change depending on the external conditions and spatial requirements. To this end, the solution is both flexible, scalable and modular.

In line with NATO Role 1 up to NATO Role 3 requirements, modules will be capable of seamless deployment in a variety of sizes and layouts, depending on the situation. The interoperable and scalable design means that modules can be packed down into transportable containers and be shipped by air, sea or road.

Saab also has the capability to deploy these health facilities nationally and internationally within 24 hours of receiving a request from the ADF.

Increasing support and maintenance capability

At Saab, we also understand the criticality of strong support systems. Fundamental to the delivery of JP2060 Phase 3, we have purpose-built a Deployable Health Support Centre in South Queensland. This facility will be essential to the appropriate and effective storage, maintenance and deployment of the health modules. It will also contain a central sterilisation supply department (CSSD) and provide training facilities for the ADF.

Our support team will be readily able to respond to feedback from the field and adjust equipment configurations for optimal use.
Saab's Deployable Health Support Centre, South Queensland.

Saab is committed to expanding Australia’s deployable health capability. To that end, we have relocated our Global Deployable Health Centre of Excellence (CoE) from Sweden to our facility in Hawthorn, Victoria. The technology, expertise and knowledge that Saab has gained during the past three decades are being transferred to our CoE-based team.

In partnership with industry and academia, the CoE will advance deployable health capability through continual technology refresh and equipment readiness, as well as providing access to emerging technologies in deployable health. The CoE will lead Saab's global development of deployable health capability exporting e solutions designed and developed in Australia to the rest of the world.


Our Deployable Health Journey