The Queensland-based aerospace company has launched a new training missile for the Australian Defence Force.
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Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) has fired a new sovereign-built training rocket, designed for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel as a cheaper alternative to existing weapons.
Practice rockets are used to develop the skills of trainees preparing to fire live ordnances.
The TM-229 measures 229mm diameter and four metres in length and has a maximum range of 15 kilometres.
The missile leverages Black Sky’s Australian-made solid rocket propellant and is an extension of its sovereign missile development program.
The initial trials used a reduced power motor proving out logistics, infrastructure, and processes, with full capacity trials commencing early next year from Black Sky’s private launch range in south-west Queensland.
Black Sky Aerospace chief executive officer Blake Nikolic said the company’s new practice missile would reduce the burden on the ADF’s existing stocks.
“Black Sky is accelerating the development of sovereign Australian guided weapons with the successful firing of a training rocket to support systems like the high mobility artillery rocket systems acquired by the Australian Defence Force and allies,” Nikolic said.
“ADF personnel need to experience firing real rockets without the Commonwealth paying the original price tag,” he said. “Our aim is to provide a product that can help as many people qualify on systems as quickly as possible but at a fraction of the price.”
The launch and test fire of the practice missile comes a month after nine guided weapons were launched at Black Sky’s private range.
“Black Sky Aerospace is already two and half years into its independent development of sovereign guided weapons, with many milestones already delivered,” Nikolic added.
“If we are to get ahead of the lead times required for sovereign missile development, companies like Black Sky and our partners need to start work while the government makes its decisions on next steps for Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance.”