The latest round of innovation contracts have been awarded to Australian industry, with the Australian Army partnering with the Defence Innovation Hub to support three new contracts.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the three Defence Innovation Hub contracts have a combined value of $2.2 million.
The first contract, valued at $1.04 million and awarded to DefendTex, is to explore the development of a light weight, modular shotgun system. If successful, this technology could deliver a considerable capability improvement in shotgun capability.
The second contract, also awarded to DefendTex, is valued at $957,000 and will explore the development of a low profile body armour for potential use in combat operations.
DefendTex is one of the founding company members of the first Defence Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems and has also collaborated with the DST Group, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Flinders University and Cranfield University in the UK to develop new technologies around the safety and performance of explosives.
The Victorian company is also working with the DST Group for research into energetic materials and systems relating to weapons delivery systems and rocket propellants, and has recently celebrated a milestone with UNSW Canberra with the launch of a prototype combustor that enables hypersonic flight.
The Defence Innovation Hub also awarded a contract to Thales Australia, valued at $227,000, to explore development of an innovative optics system for use with the current in-service enhanced F88 rifle to provide enhanced targeting capability and shooter accuracy on operations.
The contracts were selected as part of Army Innovation Day 2017, utilising the new Special Notice platform managed by the Defence Innovation Hub. Special Notices allows capability managers to call for industry and research organisations to submit proposals in response to specific capability challenges.
Minister Pyne said 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.
"These contracts support the development of innovative solutions to challenges of novel weapons and novel effects in a combined arms team in a joint environment," the minister said.
Special Notices will be advertised on the Defence Innovation Portal as they arise.