The selection of the prefrred shipbuilder to build and deliver their state-of-the-art Frigate is good news for Australia and particularly good news for South Australia. This is a major project that will employ a lot of highly skilled people in all facets of ship design, construction, engineering, integration, and logistics.
So how big is the task and what makes us Australia's leading combat system integrator?
Saab’s 9LV combat management system has been in-service in the RAN for over 30 years, starting with the ANZAC Frigates, moving onto the LHDs and soon to be installed on the new AORs and the OPVs. There are also shore-based 9LV installations including trainer systems on the east and west coasts, modeling and development systems at Saab Australia and DSTG in South Australia.
The RAN is an experienced and sophisticated user, and all the platforms have an ongoing programme of upgrades and enhancements to maintain or establish new capabilities and incorporate new technology. All this work has been done in Australia, and over this period Saab Australia has also conducted a wide range of R&D activities.
With over 350 software and hardware engineers, project managers, and combat system integrators, Saab Australia has wealth of experience in combat system development and integration. We have an established reputation for delivering our complex projects on time and budget. Since the government announcement last October we have also been steadily recruiting to meet the demands of the major naval projects now and into the future.
With millions of lines of software code driving mission-critical sensors and weapons in warship combat systems, the best team to integrate this capability is the same team that developed it. This ensures Australia maintains as much sovereign control of our vital combat system capability as possible.
The latest combat systems also needs the latest software and hardware technology. Saab Australia invests heavily in research and development and is already working closely with Australian universities and local industry to develop the next generation combat system technology, like our next generation consoles.
We are also looking to the future workforce with a heavy focus on fostering interest in STEM in the younger generation through programmes such as Science Fairs, Subs-In-Schools, P-Tech, secondary and undergraduate work experience as well as graduate employment.