A new purpose-built facility has been unveiled in Brisbane, designed to house research into the development of sovereign long-range strike capability.
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The Commonwealth government has announced the official opening of Defence’s $14 million Australian Hypersonics Research Precinct at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.
The facility, built to support over 60 staff, will house collaboration between Defence, industry, universities and international partners.
The projects are expected to focus on high-speed and hypersonic flight research and technologies, tipped to advance understanding and use of the technology through flight test vehicles.
“It’s a complex technological challenge to build vehicles capable of flying at five times the speed of sound, that skim the stratosphere, to target any location on the planet,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.
“The technology that is developed here will help us to better defend against the malign use of this technology and give us the ability to strike any potential adversaries from a distance and deter aggression against Australia’s national interests.
“It enables Defence researchers to develop and characterise sovereign hypersonic technologies and generate ‘true’ hypersonic flight conditions at large scale in a classified laboratory.”
The opening of the precinct forms part of the government’s $3 billion investment in Defence innovation, science and technology over the next decade.
Chris Jenkins, CEO of Thales Australia, has welcomed the launch, noting the company would support the initiative via the Collaborative Research and Development Program, delivering Advanced Rocket Motor Technology.
“Thales is proud to work with a range of SMEs including Southern Launch, Airspeed, Mincham and Mackay Defence, who will deliver specialised technology for the complex program including tooling and precision engineering, specialised polymeric insulation products, composite cases, as well as design and launch services,” he said.
“Thales Australia already works with more than 600 Australian small and medium enterprises and a large range of weapons systems primes to ensure the ADF receives the locally manufactured munitions they need.
“We look forward to the expansion of the defence ecosystem at Eagle Farm, where Thales currently has around 150 highly skilled and experienced staff supporting ADF programs.”
[Related: Deakin University wins Defence R&D grant]