Raytheon Australia has announced plans to create an Asia-Pacific manufacturing and sustainment hub for Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales.

The company will advance with its plans if it is selected for the Australian Army’s LAND 129 Phase 3 programme.

The announcement comes nearly three months after Schiebel Pacific and Raytheon Australia partnered for the LAND129 Phase 3 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) project.

Raytheon Australia, Schiebel Pacific, as well as SMEs Air Affairs Australia and Innovation Composites, have committed to manufacture and maintain Camcopter S-100 for the Asia Pacific region locally.

If developed, the hub will create around 20 new jobs for the development of UASs, while around A$50m ($35.87m) is expected to be invested into the local Shoalhaven economy over the life of the programme.

Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward said: “Our LAND 129 Phase 3 solution is backed by Raytheon Australia’s 20-year investment in sovereign complex systems integration, which allows us to offer a world-class system to meet the Australian Army’s future tactical UAS requirements.

“The development of this regional UAS sustainment hub will generate even more growth and jobs for the Shoalhaven region.

“We will work with local suppliers to foster genuine Australian industrial sovereignty, prioritising defence’s operational needs.”

Schiebel Pacific general manager Andrew Watson said: “We are fully committed to the Australian market and are proud of our efforts in setting up the UAS manufacturing and sustainment hub for the Shoalhaven region.

“The hub enables us to closely work together with all involved partners and sets us up perfectly for the LAND 129 Phase 3 programme.”