Lockheed Martin Canada has signed its first export contract for its Combat Management System, a system developed for the Royal Canadian Navy’s upgraded Halifax-class frigates.

The four year, C$180 million agreement with the government of New Zealand will see Lockheed perform similar work to upgrade the Royal New Zealand Navy’s two ANZAC Class frigates. The CMS is a commercial variant of systems developed specifically for the RCN. It was built with an open architecture concept to incorporate individual sub-systems and components.

“To have another country select our CMS is tremendously rewarding to our employees and the government of Canada with whom we’ve worked for more than three decades on similar naval programs,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, president of Lockheed Martin Canada, in a ststaement. “This key export of Canadian-designed technology not only reinforces Lockheed Martin’s position as a world leader in naval combat systems integration but further demonstrates our ability to successfully leverage purchases and investments in high-technology defence products to create jobs and economic growth in Canada, one of the key objectives set forth in the recently launched Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) in Canada.”

The deal was facilitated through a memorandum of understanding on defence matériel cooperation between the Canadian and New Zealand defence ministries.

Lockheed Martin Canada will serve as the ANZAC Frigate System Upgrade program’s prime system integrator, responsible for the design, installation and integration of the CMS and Combat System Trainer, as well as the procurement of new sensor and weapon systems for HMNZ Ships Te Mana and Te Kaha.

The contract is expected to mean significant work for employees at Lockheed’s facilities in Dartmouth, Kanata and Montreal. The agreement also includes an optional installation work package that could involve work for  SEASPAN shipyard in Victoria.

As part of regular offsets, Lockheed Martin is also working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to include local industry in the ANZAC Frigate System Upgrade program, as well as current and future Canadian and international programs.

“We are delighted that Lockheed Martin Canada has been selected as our Prime System Integrator after a worldwide competitive tender process,” said Des Ashton, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s Deputy Secretary (Acquisitions). “We consider that Lockheed Martin’s significant experience from the Canadian Navy’s HALIFAX Modernization Programme will be an important de-risking factor in our FSU project.”

Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, was quick to congradulate Lockheed Martin Canada, saying in a press release that half of the Canadian defence industry’s annual $9.4 billion in revenue comes from exports, which are now a key emphasis under the Defence Procurement Strategy.