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Tasmanian SME secures defence export competitiveness grant

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced that the federal government has awarded a $150,000 grant to a Tasmania-based UAV engine manufacturer Currawong Engineering.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced that the federal government has awarded a $150,000 grant to a Tasmania-based UAV engine manufacturer Currawong Engineering.

Currawong Engineering, a Tasmania-based producer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has been named as a recipient of the $150,000 Defence Global Competitiveness Grant — available to SMEs looking to expand globally.

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According to Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, the grant would be used by Currawong to purchase specialist plant equipment to increase electronics production capability for parts used in UAVs.

Senator for Tasmania Jonathon Duniam described the Tasmanian SME as a “trusted supplier” in the defence and security market, added that the funding boost would enable Currawong to expand its distribution network.

“The grant will assist Currawong to increase production and deliver capability with shorter lead times, boosting its export opportunities into North America,” Senator Duniam said.

“Currawong has established itself as a world-leader in engines for UAVs, and I’m proud to be backing this innovative, Tasmanian business.” 

Minister Price said the provision of the export grant was further evidence of the government’s commitment to helping the local industry establish a foothold in global markets.

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“The Defence Global Competitiveness Grant program is a key element of the Morrison government’s program to grow exports, delivering a robust sovereign Australian defence industry,” Minister Price said. 

Currawong is the latest among several SMEs to receive the grant, joining the likes of RUAG Australia, Valley Precise Global, Advanced Navigation, EM Solutions, Heat Treatment Australia, IntelliDesign, ImmersaView, Pivot Maritime International, and Fivecast.

Currawong Engineering produces UAV engines for both military and commercial purposes.

The company’s first offering was the Corvid-29 engine powertrain system, which included a custom induction system, fuel injection system, low-noise exhaust and power supply.  

Currawong also offers specialist machining services and engineering design consulting services to local and international customers.

Currawong Engineering is a world leader in the field of engine powertrain systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, in both military and commercial applications. It also offers the Corvid-50 engine, a 50cc engine with more power and ideally suited to UAVs with a maximum take-off weight of between 25 and 40 kilograms.

Currawong has developed a CAN servo that provides a complete closed-loop actuator system with real-time position feedback. It has also developed a high power, high reliability electronic speed controller, ESC Velocity. 

These electronic systems network together via the CAN standard along with the engine control unit, power supply, autopilot and payload. Currawong’s in-house software tool, cEQUIP, provides an interface to allow the configuration and real-time data logging of the electronic systems.

[Related: Defence Global Competitiveness Grant to benefit Aussie F-35 supplier]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Tasmanian SME secures defence export competitiveness grant
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