Plan Jericho: Giving Australia the Edge

Plan Jericho envisions the freedom of action in the air, space, electromagnetic and cyber domains required to deliver air power for Australia’s interests, in joint and combined operating environments.

It allows the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to maximise the potential of 5th Generation aircraft, such as the F-35, and revolutionise warfighting.  As a top Israeli defence official recently commented, “We are not adapting the F-35 for our Air Force, we are adapting our Air Force to the F-35.”

The Lockheed Martin designed and built F-35, arguably the catalyst for Plan Jericho and the 5th Generation fighting force, represents a quantum leap from current fourth generation fighter aircraft.

Drawing on the advantage of stealth, advanced sensors, and data fusion, F-35 pilots can fly critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions with more sophisticated data capture and evaluation, level 4 fusion, and operator feedback than any previous aircraft. The ability to use information gathered by F-35 sensors with commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground, and provide a comprehensive view of ongoing operations is a concept at the heart of Plan Jericho.

Couple the addition of this game changing capability with the incredible intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and command and control (C2) benefits of the Air Warfare Destroyer, the Triton, the Poseidon, and the Wedgetail, and Australia is poised to “write the book” on integrating these systems to create a superior operational advantage for the men and women of the ADF.

Lockheed Martin Australia is working closely with the ADF to meet this highly complex challenge by thinking beyond today’s limitations and advancing the state of the art at an unprecedented pace, with the aim of achieving the vision of a “Net Enabled Force”, or a “Combat Cloud” as theorised by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Research and Development

Underpinning this forward thinking is a commitment to leading edge research and development (R&D) in Australia.

Our recent strategic investment establishing the Science Technology, Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaRLab) in Melbourne, the first Lockheed Martin multi-disciplinary R&D facility outside of the US, is demonstration of the desire to foster a stronger partnership with industry.  STELaRLab constitutes Lockheed Martin’s national Research & Development (R&D) operations centre for our current University-based research portfolio in Australia, as well as undertaking additional internal R&D programs.

Working seamlessly with our US labs, including Skunk Works, the Advanced Technology Centre, and The Lighthouse, STELaRLab is a conduit for advancing our home-grown Australian technologies, and will draw upon the backbone of our world-leading R&D capabilities. STELaRLab researchers will explore several fields, including: Hypersonics research; Quantum Information Science; Space Systems research; Radar and signal processing; and C4ISR systems research.

It is our vision that the work done at STELaRLab will contribute significantly to the maturation of technologies that will one day be deployed in defence of our nation, many of which will emerge from the execution of Plan Jericho.

In Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is investing in a new, state-of-the art facility that will enable classified and unclassified technology demonstrations for Commonwealth stakeholders, showcasing both indigenous works and concepts/technologies from Lockheed Martin’s US labs, on topics such as C4ISR, F-35, Space and others.


Beyond future R&D, there are a broad range of relevant interoperable capabilities that have already been deployed around the world that will contribute to the Plan Jericho vision. They include:

·         the US Navy’s future frigate program

·         Littoral Combat Ship

·         Aegis Combat Systems

·         Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-The-Shelf Insertion (ARCI) Program - an open architecture system for the US Navy's submarine force, and:

·         Space-Based InfraRed System (SBIRS)

Lockheed Martin’s extensive knowledge of open architectures and experience in designing cross-domain solutions will help the ADF achieve its ambition to evolve beyond the constraints of proprietary closed systems into a modular, flexible, and responsive enterprise, fully capitalising on information interoperability.

Steve Froelich
Steve Froelich
Vice President of Rotary and Mission Systems Operations for Australia and New Zealand
Steve Froelich has more than 35 years with industry and the military. A former Navy officer, he currently heads a team that offers solutions for information and intelligence sharing across military branches and domains to enable decision superiority. Learn about our C4ISR capabilities