September 30, 2016

Comments: Lockheed Martin Chosen Combat Systems Integrator for Australia's Shortfin sub

Just some of the components of the US made AN/BYG-1 Combat System to be Integrated by Lockheed Martin into Australia's future Shortfin submarines. The AN/BYG-1 is already integrated into Australia's current Collins submarines.

With the September 30, 2016 Australian Ministerial announcement:

“The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne and the Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP today announced that Lockheed Martin Australia has been selected as the preferred Combat System Integrator for Australia’s Future Submarine Program, subject to further discussion on commercial matters…[see more]” 

many comments can be made:
A submarine's combat system has three main components: 
-  sensors (especially sonars), 
-  weapons (torpedos, missiles and mines), and
-  a massive onboard database (which benefits from the US/allies worldwide SeaWeb network).
Workstations in a submarine's main monitoring-decisionmaking Command Center form the user access portion of the combat system.
The Australian Government's announcement of Integrator of the AN/BYG-1 combat system benefits not just Lockheed Martin but Raytheon (which has not really "lost" the integrator competition) and General Dynamics. The three US companies are all players in providing the AN/BYG-1 combat system to SSNs of the US Navy. 
The integration of the US AN/BYG-1 was always required of the 3 competitors (DCNS, TKMS and Japan) for Australia's early 2016 future submarine competition. So DCNS had no option of integrating its standard SUBTICS combat system into its winning Shortfin design. The US AN/BYG-1 was always Australia's requirement because:

-  Having a common US-Australian combat system promotes interoperability between US nuclear
   submarines and Australian submarines (making this an important aspect of the US-Australian 
-  Integration of the AN/BYG-1 on Australia's future Shortfin provides continuity for Australia's
   submarine service - as this combat system is already used on Australia's current Collins class

The highly senstive nature of the AN/BYG-1 meant the US Government had to be confident that the DCNS document leak crisis of August 2016 was over. Sensitivity also meant only US companies (Lockheed Martin and Raytheon) were allowed to compete in the Combat Systems Integrator limited competition. In the building of Australia future Shortfin submarine, from about 2025 onwards, there may still be security, technical and business issues that devide the US combat system companies from DCNS.
For background here is some pre-September 2016 decision bid publicity (likely to timeout by October 2016) for Lockheed Martin and Raytheon

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