The Australian Army has partnered with the Defence Innovation Hub to award three innovation contracts to Australian industry and research organisations to develop a next generation Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) for use by Australian soldiers.
Victoria's SYPAQ Systems and NSW' JAR Aerospace and the University of Sydney each received contracts totalling $783,000.
JAR Aerospace was awarded $275,000 to develop a hybrid vertical take-off and landing with a fixed wing unmanned aerial system that will incorporate target tracking, encryption and acoustic sensing and analysis at an extended range while the University of Sydney was awarded $249,524 to develop a lightweight unmanned aerial system that combines vertical take-off capabilities with horizontal fixed wing flight for extended speed and endurance. The system will be supported by a suite of cutting edge communication, control and sensor payloads.
SYPAQ Systems was awarded $258,621 to further develop its Corvo X small unmanned aerial system that has vertical take-off and landing capacity with an extended flight time. The Corvo X also has a ground control operating system appropriate for use on both Windows and Android platforms. This latest contract is now the third Defence Innovation Hub contract that the Victorian SME has won.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne congratulated the three organisations for stepping up to answer the capability challenge presented by Army. The minister said SUAS are crucial to defence units which have an enduring need to be able to detect, observe and classify potential threats as they move through hazardous environments.
"Small Unmanned Aerial System capability enables airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities," Minister Pyne said.
"Ensuring our defence force personnel have the most up-to-date, cutting-edge technology supports them in their mission to defend Australia and its interests."
"It is encouraging to see the Defence Innovation Hub, the Australian Army and local industry partners working together to develop innovative solutions to enhance defence capability."
The latest contracts were selected as part of the new Special Notice platform trialled by the Defence Innovation Hub, which allows capability managers to call for industry and research organisations to submit proposals in response to specific capability challenges.
Special Notices will be advertised on the Defence Innovation Portal as they arise.