Defence Australia is moving forward to develop high-energy laser manufacturing capability in South Australia, under a new $12.9 million contract with QinetiQ Australia.
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QinetiQ will co-develop and manufacture a high-energy defensive laser system prototype capable of deployment in a wide range of operational environments, under the two-year contract announced on 4 April.
The company will also work in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) to develop and deliver laser sources suitable for directed energy applications.
Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro AC, said the collaboration demonstrated how DSTG is facilitating the rapid transition of science and technology into Defence capability.
“DSTG is partnering with industry to build advanced and competitive Australian sovereign capabilities for our Defence Force in critical technology areas,” Professor Monro said.
“The high-energy laser manufacturing capability is an example of how we can work with industry to support emerging and disruptive technologies.”
QinetiQ Australia Sector, engineering services, managing director Simon Fredericks said the company is proud to join the contract to co-develop and manufacture a high-energy defensive laser system prototype in South Australia.
“We are incredibly proud of the longstanding and deep partnership between QinetiQ Australia and DSTG,” he said.
“By leveraging QinetiQ’s high-power laser technology and test and evaluation expertise in collaboration with DSTG’s scientific innovation, we will deliver enhanced sovereign capability to the ADF.”
QinetiQ had previously announced a three-year, $13 million directed energy laser weapon development contract with Australia, in a third quarter trading update on 18 January.