4 mins read 15 Oct 2021

Lockheed Martin Wins Major Geospatial Intelligence Contract

Australia's lead geospatial intelligence agency has awarded a $20 million contract to Lockheed Martin Australia. The two-year contract will support sovereign information and communication technology (ICT) geospatial mission systems.

Lockheed Martin Australia are expanding their space capabilities. Credit: Lockheed Martin.

The Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation (AGO), provides geospatial intelligence from imagery and other sources in support of Australia's defence and national interests. Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) have announced that they have been contracted to deliver a $20 Million contract to support the AGO in a new program called “South COAST”. 

Lockheed Martin Australia’s regional director for Space, David Ball, welcomed the contract award which reinforces LMA’s commitment to strengthening Australia’s sovereign industry capability in the delivery of advanced support services. 

“We’re very proud of this contract, which aligns strongly with the Government’s vision of a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry sector,” he said. “As a long-term partner in the defence and national security sector, delivering resilient and sovereign capability at the cutting edge is at the heart of LMA’s vision, whether that’s supporting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, military satellite communications, Space Domain Awareness or beyond.”

According to the release the contract “marks an important milestone, representing a key advancement in Australia’s sovereign industry capabilities.” 

Looking Back at Earth

A high-resolution satellite image of Brisbane, Queensland. Images from satellites can be used to develop comprehensive strategic plans. Credit: USGS, EarthExplorer.

GEOINT covers the collection, analysis, and dissemination of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and activities in the air, land, maritime, and space domains. The AGO works closely with the Australian Space Agency (ASA) and international partners to ensure it has access to the latest satellite technology providing support to missions ranging from humanitarian to military.  

The organisation, which has two sites, one in Canberra and one in Bendigo, makes use of a variety of information gathered from numerous sources. In the past that might have meant photographs from reconnaissance aircraft or maps, today it is more likely to be from satellite imagery and communications. It is also no longer covering just the visible spectrum with the development of satellite systems with Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) and hyperspectral imaging cameras that cover Ultra Violet (UV) through to Near Infrared (NIR), Medium Wave Infrared (MWIR) to Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) wavelengths. 

GEOINT will become increasingly important as government and military systems become more integrated and reliant upon up to date information. The information provided to these systems can be used when tasking autonomous systems such as drone aircraft and vehicles, and to support fifth-generation military equipment such as the F-35 Lightning II aircraft and the Boxer armoured fighting vehicle. 

Integrated in Australian Space Defence

Lockheed Martin Australia are expanding their space capabilities in Australia. LMA were recently downselected as one of two competitors for the Joint Air Battle Management System, AIR6500 Phase 1. Credit: Lockheed Martin Australia.

Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Maryland, US-based Lockheed Martin and is a global security and aerospace company. LMA is headquartered in Canberra and employs more than 1200 people across Australia. The program will also have access to Lockheed Martin’s international network and supply chain, with the company having a presence in over 40 countries across the world. 

Earlier this year Lockheed Martin subsidiary, Lockheed Martin UK IS&GS (Information Systems & Global Solutions) was awarded a similar contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Future Deployable Geospatial Intelligence (FDG) Project will support an upgrade to the current geospatial capabilities of the MOD and provide enhanced capabilities into the future. LMA have also been down-selected as one of two remaining companies, along with Northrop Grumman to deliver the Royal Australian Air Force's Joint Air Battle Management System AIR6500 Phase 1.  The program aims to support increased situational awareness and better interoperability with coalition partners. 

The two-year contract with the AGO will see LMA staff and contractors working side-by-side with AGO personnel supporting the operation and sustainment of sovereign information and communication technology (ICT) geospatial mission systems that are critical to the analysis and dissemination of geospatial intelligence.