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Lockheed Martin to open submarine labratory in Australia

By Ryan Maass
Lockheed Martin to open submarine labratory in Australia
Port beam view of the Australian Navy submarine HMAS ONSLOW (SS-60). Lockheed Martin will partner with Saab Australia and Thales Australia & New Zealand as the Royal Australian Navy researches and designs their next-generation combat submarines. U.S. Navy Photo by James G. McCarter

CANBERRA, Australia, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin will open a submarine combat system laboratory in Australia as it pursues the Royal Australian Navy's Future Submarine project, the company announced on Friday.

Construction began on July 27, 2015, in Mawson Lakes and the facility expected to open in November. Raydon Gates, chief executive for Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand, praised the project saying submarines are a critical part of any naval fleet.

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"A Submarine's combat system is essentially the eyes, ears, and sword of the boat," Gates said in a statement, "a submarine's tactical effectiveness depends on a fully integrated suite of the best technologies from Australia and around the world."

The laboratory will serve as a testing ground for the Royal Australian's Navy. The location will feature a command center to test and validate technologies and strategies through a simulated operational environment. The project was influenced by the success of a similar program used by the U.S. Navy in Virginia.

"The laboratory is all about risk reduction," Gates added, "it gives us the flexibility to work with the SEA 1000 hull designers and combat subsystem providers in every step of the process."

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The SEA 1000 Future Submarine project is currently in the design phase, with Phase 2, construction, projected for 2016. Weapons systems will be acquired in later phases after defining requirements, including a precision strike capability, and integrations.

The project comes as the Royal Australian Navy moves forward with researching next-generation submarines. Lockheed Martin will collaborate with Saab Australia and Thales Australia & New Zealand.

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