Lockheed Martin has opened a $3m new laboratory in South Australia to provide support services for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) next-generation submarine force.

The lab will serve as a submarine combat systems integration global centre of excellence and support the design, delivery and sustainment of Australia’s future submarine force.

Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive Raydon Gates said: "The combat system is essentially the eyes, ears and sword of the submarine, and the tactical effectiveness of Australia’s future submarine capability will depend on a fully integrated suite of the best technologies from Australia and around the world.

"The combat system is essentially the eyes, ears and sword of the submarine."

"Lockheed Martin’s ability to seamlessly integrate the best sensors, sonar, radar, navigation, imagery systems and weapons will give Australia’s future submarine the strategic advantage it needs to protect our nation.

"It is critical we get this right for Australia, which is why we have already invested more than $3m in establishing the laboratory and engaging with the best minds across industry, academia and government."

Combining known and proven technologies, the laboratory is expected to provide advanced equipment in a simulated operational environment in the future.

This will enable realistic testing and validation of the RAN’s concept of operations for the future submarine force.

For the initiative, the company has partnered with Saab Australia and Thales Australia and New Zealand to leverage their maritime domain knowledge and expertise. Additional collaboration partners include Acacia Research and L3 Oceania.

Lockheed is planning to conduct lab-based workshops in January 2016.