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Lockheed Martin Australia demonstrates CIT threat detection system, Agile Shield

Lockheed Martin Australia has delivered a significant milestone in Defence’s Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge (CIT-GC) funded by the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF), successfully demonstrating its ‘Agile Shield’ solution at its Endeavour Centre in Canberra.

Developed by Lockheed Martin’s Melbourne-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaRLab) for Defence, Agile Shield is an integrated system designed to detect and defeat improvised threats in a complex joint battlespace. 

 The NGTF is administered by DSTG and Dr Peter Shoubridge, Chief of DSTG’s Land and Joint Warfare Division, stressed the importance of protecting Defence personnel from improvised threats.

“Improvised explosive devices and other improvised threats have posed a threat to ADF personnel, law enforcement, and civilian populations for decades,” he said. “A capability that can accurately and reliably detect improvised threats is critical to ensuring the safety of our personnel.”

Since being awarded the $9 million CIT-GC contract in 2021, Lockheed Martin Australia has partnered with a number of Australian small-to-medium-enterprises (SMEs) on the solution, drawing from their specialist capabilities to develop the command and control system, including a virtualised representation of the capability.

Dr Tony Lindsay, Director of STELaRLab, said, “Our demonstration of Agile Shield is the culmination of nearly two years’ hard work and dedication from the team at STELaRLab and our Australian industry partners Clearbox Systems, InTrack Solutions, Silentium Defence, Department 13 and Trakka Corp.”

Agile Shield will enable Australian forces to counter increasingly complex and sophisticated improvised threats as they arise from across land, air or the maritime domains, minimising risk to Defence personnel and civilians. STELaRLab’s work on the system demonstrates the role innovative, cross-disciplinary research and development can play in helping Australia face major security challenges in the future.

The Agile Shield open mission system design allows the capability to be easily extended to include new sensors, effectors and battle management algorithms from any partner, and the ability to interface readily to any other command and control or situational awareness systems that adhere to the “open mission system” philosophy.

This modular, open, and deliberately multi-domain design allows Agile Shield to be easily employed in national security and civilian applications, in addition to Defence missions.

Keren Reynolds, Integrated Systems Lead at STELaRLab, said, “Agile Shield will assist Defence in making timely, more informed decisions when dealing with improvised threats. The system develops an advanced situational awareness picture of the complex joint battlespace, enabling its intelligent threat evaluation and weapon assignment algorithms to rapidly generate optimised engagement options.”

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