Perth-based Orbital UAV has welcomed Minister for Defence and senator for Western Australia Linda Reynolds on a tour of the company’s headquarters.
Based in Balcatta (as well as Hood River, Oregon), the company said that it is "uniquely placed to meet the performance requirements of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through its revolutionary technology and proven operational experience".
On Thursday, Minister Reynolds met with some of the company's 70 employees and was shown some of the "innovative work" it is currently carrying out in support of ADF and US tactical unmanned aerial vehicles.
The news comes shortly after priorities in the tactical UAV space were outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.
Orbital UAV has signed a number of high-profile contracts immediately prior to this – in April, the company signed a new contract with Northrop Grumman to develop a hybrid propulsion system. It also remains the primary supplier of engines to Boeing subsidiary Insitu in the US, a contract worth up to $350 million.
Works for both projects will be carried out in Perth, with the two prototype propulsion systems set to be delivered for flight testing in 2021.
Orbital UAV provides integrated propulsion systems and flight critical components for tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). After making inroads into the North American market, the company opened its Oregon operations centre in September 2018.
The company said that its design thinking and patented technology enable it to meet the long endurance and high reliability requirements of the UAV market.