Lockheed Martin Australia has announced research and development (R&D) seeding grants to support the development of advanced technologies for the country’s Future Submarine Program.

The company will invest more than $900,000 in Australian academic and industry partners, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and universities.

A total of ten organisations have been selected for the grants after a competitive process.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin Australia said: “The programme is representative of the long-term, multimillion-dollar investment in R&D to provide a roadmap for future-proofing the advanced technologies needed to deliver and maintain regional superiority to the future submarine fleet.”

The first phase of the programme will provide $75,000 in seeding grants to the organisations.

“We are very proud that nine of the ten organisations selected are Australian SME organisations and universities.”

Organisations that have won grants include Acacia Research, L3 Ocean Systems, L3 Oceania, Flinders University, University of Melbourne and 3D at Depth.

Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive Vince Di Pietro said: “We are very proud that nine of the ten organisations selected are Australian SME organisations and universities, and this is an important realisation of Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to develop and deliver the Future Submarines as a sovereign capability.

“Initiatives such as our R&D programme for the Future Submarines demonstrate our commitment to work with Australian academia and industry to discover and evolve the best of breed technology not just for Australia, but also potentially to a global audience.”

The company selected Flinders University as a research partner to identify novel operational concepts related to the use of uninhabited and autonomous systems by a submarine.

L3 Oceania won the grants to develop technologies to improve communications with and between submarines. The firm will also work on another project focussed on enhancing video communications for use between a submarine and rescue forces during an emergency.

Lockheed Martin Australia expects to announce another round of seeding grants later this year following the completion of a further RFI process.

Australia signed an agreement last month with Naval Group to partner on the programme to build 12 submarines designed and built in Australia for the Navy. Lockheed Martin is the combat system integrator for the Future Submarine Program.