The Australian Department of Defence has awarded a contract worth A$700m ($566.46m) for the design, construction and integration of the Future Submarine combat system to Lockheed Martin Australia.

The new contract is expected to help generate 200 new jobs, which will mostly be based in South Australia.

It is also anticipated to create various new investment opportunities in the country.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “Today marks a further step forward in our partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia in delivering a fleet of regionally superior submarines to Australia.”

"These are high-tech jobs of the future, the jobs the government has committed to creating as part of our historic A$200bn ($161.84bn) defence investment over the next decade."

Pyne added: “These are high-tech jobs of the future, the jobs the government has committed to creating as part of our historic A$200bn ($161.84bn) defence investment over the next decade.

“There will be many more to come.”

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The scope of the project includes a variety of initiatives that will continue through to 2022, as well as the design of the combat system.

It also includes various procurement activities to select subsystem and component suppliers.

The current contract forms part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Submarine programme, which is currently being delivered on time and within budget, added Pyne.

Lockheed Martin Australia was previously selected by the Australian Defence Industry as the Future Submarine combat system integrator in September 2016, following the completion of a limited tender process.

The contract for the project was signed in November 2016, which was followed by the commencement of preparatory and initial design works for the Future Submarine combat system.

Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro said: “We are committed to delivering Australia a regionally superior sovereign submarine capability, which will be built, operated and sustained in Australia.”

Australia’s Future Submarine programme, also known as SEA1000, is primarily intended to provide the country with an affordable, regionally superior and conventional submarine capability.