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Lockheed Martin to lead $3bn JP 9102 military SATCOM project

Lockheed Martin has won the $3 billion JP 9102 government contract to deliver a new military satellite communication capability for Australia.

The global prime beat off competition from other major contractors, including BoeingNorthrop Grumman Australia, and Optus.

The deal is arguably the most significant in the history of Australia’s space sector, with its goal of reducing the country’s reliance on the United States and its military assets.

Lockheed Martin’s position as “preferred tenderer” means it will now progress to the next stage of the Defence procurement process, which includes engaging in collaborative tender clarification and improvement activities.


Head of Air Defence and Space Systems Division, Air Vice-Marshal David Scheul, said the multi-billion dollar project would deliver Australia’s first sovereign-controlled satellite communication system over the Indo-Pacific ocean regions. 

“Currently across Defence, there is up to 89 capabilities which depend on satellite communications,” Air Vice-Marshal Scheul said.

“Once delivered, the new system will increase the resilience, agility and flexibility of Defence’s military satellite capability.”

The new satellite communication system will include:

  • New Defence controlled and operated geostationary communications satellites;
  • Multiple ground stations across Australia;
  • Integrated Satellite Communications Management System;
  • Two new satellite communications operations centres.

Lockheed Martin’s bid included working with a consortium including Linfox, Shoal Group, Ronson Gears, and Clearbox Systems.

It also pledged to give small, local satellite missions an opportunity to rideshare on the SATCOM launch vehicle into space.

“We are excited to work with the Australian Defence Force and Australian industry to develop a robust solution for JP 9102,” said Robert Lightfoot, executive vice-president for Lockheed Martin Space. “We are bringing to bear all of Lockheed Martin’s companywide capabilities as well as our commitment to supporting allied nations to provide an operationally proven system that meets mission needs in terms of coverage, capacity, resilience and extensibility of the constellation.”

More to follow…

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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