Defence is funding the global defence company’s local development of new underwater sensor technology.
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The Commonwealth government has awarded a $1.6 million contract to Leidos Australia via the Defence Innovation Hub for the development of fibre-optic sensor technology for underwater reconnaissance missions.
Leidos, which bases its Australian operations from Victoria, is expected to work alongside WA company Terra15 and the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering to develop the capability, which aims to significantly reduce the cost of existing systems.
Reflecting on the award, Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price noted the benefits of collaboration between the public and private sector in advancing the country’s defence capability.
“It is great to see Leidos Australia partner with the Morrison government through the Defence Innovation Hub for the first time,” Minister Price said.
“… It is critical that Defence, industry and research institutions work together to develop technologies that could improve Australia’s maritime security.”
This is the latest in a series of Defence Innovation Hub contracts awarded to local industry in recent months, with the government committing to $800 million in funding over the decade.
Last week, a $3.3 million contract was awarded to Brisbane-based technology company Cyborg Dynamics Engineering for the development of its semi-autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).
Cyborg Dynamics is expected to integrate a number of local technologies into a modular, robotic platform, which could enhance the load carriage, fire support capabilities and protection of dismounted soldiers.
The firm is also set to explore on-board AI target recognition and advanced driving technologies, which could support a single person operation.
This followed QinetiQ’s receipt of a $5.4 million contract to deliver a deployable micro-grid designed to address an increase in demand for power in the changing battlespace.
The Victorian company will work alongside the University of Melbourne, leveraging advanced energy management algorithms.