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Kongsberg Defence Australia has redoubled its commitment to South Australia’s burgeoning defence industry by fast-tracking development of its $25 million Australian manufacturing headquarters at Technology Park in Mawson Lakes.

The local subsidiary of Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace purchased 6000m2 of land at Technology Park from Renewal SA in October 2022 to support its work on a range of defence programs. This includes the Naval Strike Missile capability for Anzac Class Frigates and Hobart Class Destroyers, the CORTEX capability for Protected Mobile Fires and the sustainment of NASAMS Ground Based Air Defence systems and Protector Remote Weapon Systems.

Development of its 2500m2 manufacturing and office facility was originally set to be delivered in stages over three years by local company Tandem Building Group - but a jump in the number of current and future opportunities has accelerated delivery of the project.

“We are currently co-located with Raytheon Australia at the Centre for Joint Integration in Mawson Lakes because of our role on NASAMS for the Australian Army under Project Land 19 Phase 7B. However, the decision was made to invest in a new Kongsberg facility to support existing and future growth opportunities,” General Manager John Fry said.

“Thanks to Renewal SA, we found the ideal spot at Technology Park within the defence industry ecosystem and designed a facility that we could expand in stages as our business grew.

“However, current programs combined with the nature of the technology transfer from Norway to Australia, has allowed us to commit to building the entire facility and all of its stages.”

The new standalone facility – which is first in the Asia‐Pacific region for Kongsberg’s Defence business – will support a range of activities including manufacture, assembly, integration, test, training, verification and maintenance, as well as software development and support.

The facility will house Kongsberg’s 30 local team members and has been designed to cater for as many as 150 staff in coming years in roles including systems engineering, mechanical engineering and software engineering.

The facility is expected to welcome employees in the second half of 2024 and is being designed with sustainability in mind. Following global green building certification program LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Principles, the building is on track for LEED Platinum, the highest level of LEED accreditation. If successful, the Kongsberg facility will be the first in Australia to achieve LEED Platinum status for sustainability.

“We are hoping to achieve this both through the build and the ongoing management of the facility,” Mr Fry said.

“For example, we’re limiting waste on site and are using a concrete produced with a lower carbon footprint than traditional concrete. We are also installing a 99kW solar system; we have maximised the amount of natural light; we’re installing electric vehicle charging stations; and we have reduced our reliance on air conditioning through reticulated environmental controls in the warehouse and heated flooring.

“Environmental sustainability is very important to us, and we’re committed to demonstrating that through this new facility.”

Renewal SA Executive Director, Property and Major Projects Todd Perry said the state government’s strategic approach to land development and industry support, laid the groundwork for sustained economic resilience in South Australia.

"Our focus on facilitating industrial and commercial developments directly supports job creation, fostering economic activity vital to the state’s success,” Mr Perry said.

“We're committed to developing industry precincts tailored to support key sectors like innovation and defence, providing the infrastructure and resources necessary for businesses like Kongsberg to excel.”

South Australia’s defence sector employs more than 14,000 workers with another 10,000 jobs expected to be added to the defence industry pipeline, plus thousands more in associated industries over the next 20 years.

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