Aegis SEA 5000 The People Behind SEA 5000

The People Behind Australia's Future Frigate Program

Grant Nelson

A keen interest in long range surveillance and maritime defence capabilities, coupled with international experience working with ship builders and prime systems integrators, meant that System Engineering Specialist Grant Nelson was a perfect fit to join the Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) team.

Grant is just one member of the LMA team who are gearing up to work on Australia’s Future Frigate Program. The Future Frigate Program is a future class of frigates for the Royal Australian Navy to replace the ANZAC-class – and the LMA team have been selected by the Australian Government to deliver Aegis, the world’s most advanced multi mission warfare capability, to the future fleet.

For Grant, this is welcome news.

Grant joined Lockheed Martin Australia 4 years ago, after 27 years working on major Defence capabilities such as JORN and Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyer Program, the latter of these roles which introduced Grant to Lockheed Martin.

“For the Australian Warfare Destroyer program I was the Production Engineering Lead, which meant I served as the primary interface between the Combat System designers and the Shipbuilder.  This role was challenging, but very rewarding and introduced me to a range of new skills and capabilities.

“With a previous employer, I was lucky enough to experience the build-integrate-test cycle at the Bath Iron Works facility in Maine - a major US shipyard – who have built more than half of the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers. I also had the privilege of witnessing the integration of the F-105 Combat System suite while resident in Ferrol, Spain. That said, clearly the biggest highlight for me on the AWD Program was first hand exposure to Aegis. Part of this included a five week intensive training course on the architecture of the Aegis Combat System and how it imparts lethality across the American Destroyer Fleet.  It was here at CSEDS Moorestown, NJ – which locals call the “Cruiser in the Cornfield” - that I was first introduced to Aegis and came to understand its full capabilities”.

“It was at this point, that I considered working with Lockheed Martin in the combat system integration discipline noting that it would be a great career option with much longevity, and that is why the SEA5000 program is so exciting.” 

Grant holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from the University of South Australia and a Post Graduate qualification in Defence Sciences from Adelaide University.  Born and raised in South Australia, Grant credits his year 10 Science teacher – Mr Victory - with sparking his interest in a science based career.

“My year ten Science teacher fostered my curiosity and natural interest in Physics, which set me on my future career path.  Working in defence is a great career aspiration for any young Australian.  I have worked with some amazing technologies and travelled to some really interesting locations that many people would just not get to see.  Most importantly I know that my contribution to defence is all about delivering trusted capability to the warfighter.”

“Lockheed Martin Australia is a great place to work, and with the Future Frigate Program gearing up over the next few years, there is unprecedented opportunity for all those working in the engineering and defence capability fields”.

Grant is just one member of the Lockheed Martin Australia.

Mark Leach

After more than 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, Mark Leach, business development manager, made the leap from public service to industry, joining the Lockheed Martin Australia team to work on surface maritime programs.

Mark comes to Lockheed Martin with a varied and expert background within the armed forces. He trained as a merchant mariner, has held senior roles at international posts – including the Middle East and the United States – and worked in project/program management roles within the Royal Australian Navy.

“During my time as a US Liaison Officer, I worked closely with large defence companies, and I came to understand how industry is a critical component to the development of capability and therefore contributor to national security.”

“With my background, joining the Lockheed Martin Australia team means I can bring operational appreciation of how technical solutions will be used in the field.”

“I see my role supporting the Royal Australian Navy with the best capabilities and programs possible, such as the Aegis Weapons System and the MH-60R naval helicopter. Working for Lockheed Martin Australia, I get access to a global research and development backbone and a unique global supply chain which draws upon the best of Australian industry.”

Mark leads the surface maritime business development team, focusing on Australia’s future fleet through the SEA5000 program. As a key member of the Lockheed Martin team, Mark is passionate about the role industry plays in the development and implementation of capabilities for Australia’s armed forces.

“Our partnerships with Australia’s research and industry communities support our global supply chains while providing opportunities for technology transfer, innovation, local jobs and business growth. Lockheed Martin systems and advanced engineering capabilities allow Australia’s industry and its defence forces to remain on the cutting edge of technology.”

Mark is one member of the Lockheed Martin Australia expert team contributing to the defence of Australia.

Richard Dominy

A keen interest in naval combat systems and an opportunity to deliver world class technology to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) made Lockheed Martin Australia the employer of choice for Richard Dominy.

Richard is the engineering manager for Surface Maritime projects for Lockheed Martin in Australia.

Richard comes to Lockheed Martin Australia from an international maritime and engineering background. Richard and his family immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 1997 and he has been heavily involved in Australia’s maritime capability environment ever since.

“In South Africa I worked as a systems engineer specifying and designing part of a new combat system for the South African Navy Warrior Class Missile Strike Craft and Heroine Class Submarines. It was this role that made me realise my keen interest in C4I and Navy combat systems.”

Over the past 20 years, this interest led Richard to work at the forefront of Australia’s maritime defence sector, including on the ANZAC class Frigates and the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) programs.  On the LHDs, Richard held the role of engineering manager, working on the program from contract signature through to the successful delivery of the NUSHIP Canberra to the RAN.

Richard joined Lockheed Martin Australia in 2017 to be a key member of the team bidding for the Combat System for SEA5000 Future Frigates.

“Lockheed Martin is the designer and supplier of choice for advanced naval combat systems. I joined this team for the opportunity to deliver the most advanced maritime warfighting capability in the world, Aegis, to the Royal Australian Navy.”

“Aegis is the world’s most advanced multi-mission combat system. It’s been delivered to over 120 ships, across seven hulls, in eight shipyards and six nations.  This role allows me the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of ship defence technology and it’s a very exciting time to be working in defence for Australia.”

Richard is just one member of the expert Lockheed Martin Australia team working to contribute to the defence of Australia.