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EOS confirms first Slinger exports to Ukraine

Photo: EOS/Supplied.

Australian-made 30mm weapon systems are being sent to Ukraine as part of a US security assistance package announced earlier this year.

Australian-made 30mm weapon systems are being sent to Ukraine as part of a US security assistance package announced earlier this year.

Three “Slinger” light-weight 30mm cannon system, made by Canberra-based Electro Optic Systems Defence Systems, have been ordered for use on “30mm gun trucks” announced by the US Department of Defense earlier this year on 4 April.

Each “Slinger” contains a radar, 30mm stabilised cannon with proximity-fuse, hi-explosive or armour-piercing ammunition designed for tracking and drone engagement at a range of more than 800 metres.

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The Ukraine version will be used in coordination with Northrop Grumman’s M-ACE (mobile - acquisition, cueing and effector) system.

EOS Defence Systems executive vice-president Matthew Jones, responsible for defence systems in Australia, the US and Singapore, said the weapon system could be mounted on a heavy 4x4 for operation or for unmanned ground vehicle configuration.

“The Slingers have been contracted by Northrop Grumman, we received a purchase order for three systems, and there’ll be more to follow after the first three. The Slinger configured systems use a M230LF light-weight 30mm cannon ... with single-shot engagement beyond 800 metres,” he said.

“We’ve been in trials with Northrop Grumman on this particular capability for actually a couple of years, and this will be their first export sale of the Slinger capability.

“The configuration that we’re delivering under this contract is a manned vehicle, a four-by-four US truck mounted configuration with the operator operating the system from within the cab, and the system mounted on the back in the tray.”

The Australian-designed and developed counter-drone system was officially launched by Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite at the EOS Defence Systems manufacturing facility in Canberra in May this year.

This is the second counter-drone system in operation on the ground in Ukraine after EOS provided AS-65 RWS gimbals for the L3Harris “VAMPIRE” portable rocket kit.

It’s understood EOS has also partnered with a Ukrainian firm to assist maintenance and repairs of its R400 remote weapon stations used on donated Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.

A senior US defence official said nine “30mm gun truck” vehicles had been earmarked for counter-unmanned aerial systems.

“The package includes important capabilities for air defence and to counter Russian unmanned aerial systems … it also includes new counter-UAS capabilities such as the 30mm gun trucks to detect and intercept drones such as the Iranian-built Shaheds,” the official said on 4 April.

“The gun trucks are a new item from the United States … and our expectation is that these will be able to detect and intercept drones, including the Iranian-built Shaheds.

“It’s going to take several months to be able to actually provide that to Ukraine.”

Other parts of the security assistance package included ammunition for HIMARS, air defence interceptors and artillery rounds, anti-armour systems, 3,600 small arms, heavy equipment transport vehicles, and maintenance support valued at up to $500 million.

This latest confirmation continues a run of shareholder confidence for the Australian-owned defence and space company, which has been trending upward since the start of the year.

“The share price moves around, as the share price moves around. I would say that overall, the company continues to demonstrate improved governance and business management,” Mr Jones said.

“We will continue to sign delivery contracts … (and the) Slinger is the first product release in the calendar over the next few months.

“We’re developing two new products in this space; they are [complementary] and will extend EOS’s capability and range of engagements against the drone threat as either a standalone counter-drone capability or an integrated solution for more traditional defence.

“From a company point of view, we’re very proud of the technology. This is Australian technology; these systems were designed and manufactured here in Australia, particularly [in] Queanbeyan and in Canberra. There’ll be delivered from Canberra to the US, and then on to Ukraine.

“On the back of this system being deployed to Ukraine, we expect that we will receive increasing orders for this type of technology.”

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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