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Tenix Aerospace and Defence, Northrop Grumman, Saab Systems team to bid for $1b UAV project

Tenix Aerospace and Defence announced it has teamed with Northrop Grumman and Saab Systems in a bid to become the Industry Capability Partner for Phase 1b of the Australian AIR 7000 project. Under the $1 billion plus programme Australia plans to acquire a Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS).

"Tenix Aerospace and Defence is pleased to lead this unmatched team of defence and aerospace systems integration specialists," said Ian Sharp, Executive General Manager Tenix Aerospace and Defence. "We are confident the team has the experience in UAV systems and understanding of Australian C4ISR requirements to ably assist government to bring its top-tier unmanned aerial capability to reality."

In 2006 the Australian government announced plans to cooperate with the U.S. Navy to develop an MUAS as part of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program. The Australian government has the option to purchase the air vehicle and sensor package chosen for BAMS.

The government signalled its intention to purchase an unmanned aerial vehicle system capable of undertaking maritime surveillance and reconnaissance tasks. Flying at up to 18 km (60,000ft) above the earth's surface, the system would be able to monitor thousands of square kilometres for more than 24 hours at a time.

In the coming months the Australian government will choose an Industry Capability Partner to deliver the Australian-unique requirements, including the development of an Integrated Ground Environment (IGE), provision of through-life sustainment, and possible integration of alternative airborne sensors and communications systems.

Ian Sharp said that Tenix Aerospace and Defence believes it has succeeded in bringing together the best possible set of capabilities in the team. "We have an intimate understanding of Australian requirements necessary to create an unmanned system that will fit seamlessly into Australian operations. We also have the vital international links needed to access sensitive data to ensure interoperability with our allies."

Carl Johnson, President of Northrop Grumman International Inc is equally confident the team has the ideal mix of skills for the task. "Together the companies have proven skills in defining, developing and producing large-scale integrated systems that successfully integrate the elements of battlespace awareness (ISR), command & control and integrated battlefield operations."

According to Johnson, Northrop Grumman strengthens the team with its unparalleled UAS and ISR systems expertise. "The integration of unmanned systems and the development of integrated ground environments are core business for Northrop Grumman."

"Northrop Grumman also has access to a broad range of sensitive data required to adapt or develop complex C4ISR systems to Australian Defence Force requirements.

Richard Price, Head of Air and Land Systems, Saab Systems, said that Saab Systems will bring its considerable system integration and interoperability skills to the team. "Saab Systems is a leader in command and control systems integration," Richard said.

Saab will also seek to leverage expertise from its other land and sea-based programs. "We have been responsible for the integration of a number of key C2 systems currently in the ADF inventory—in fact, many of the systems that the MUAS will need to interface with."

Sharp added that Tenix Aerospace and Defence and the other team members had experience working in partnership with government on successful major system acquisitions. "The Anzac Alliance (Anzac class ship upgrade) and AP-3C Master Accord are arguably the best examples of government and industry partnership in recent times," he said.

Sharp said that the team was also committed to building skills within the Australian defence industry. "We plan to support local industry by working with Australian SMEs throughout the life of the UAV system."

Press release issued by Tenix Pty Ltd on March 20, 2007


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Tenix Pty Ltd Design Services
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Airframer
Saab Aerosystems Airframer


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