Pyne launches Lockheed Martin STELaRLab

Australia spends around $1 billion a year surveying powerlines by helicopter, a job that could be done for a faction of that price by new autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) able to top up their batteries from the powerlines themselves. Engineering students from Melbourne University, backed by Lockheed Martin’s new STELaRLab advanced research centre, have developed … [Read more...]

Insitu marks one million hours

Unmanned aircraft systems company Insitu has notched up one million operational flight hours – 114 years – by its ScanEagle, Blackjack and Integrator platforms. Insitu chief executive Ryan Hartman said the first operational mission, which started the clock, was for the US Marine Corps, and so too was the one millionth flight hour. He gave no other details of the milestone … [Read more...]

BUDGET 2017 – Defence budget boost leaves 2% of GDP target in reach

Defence funding is set to rise to $34.6 billion in 2017-18, a whisker short of the fabled two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) promised when the coalition won office in 2013. That funding – an increase of about two per cent on the PAES (Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements) figure for 2016-17 – means the government is sticking firmly to its undertaking to … [Read more...]

BUDGET 2017 – budget briefs

FUTURE SUBS So far our new submarines have cost the Australian taxpayer $127 million, with an estimated $319 million to be spent in 2017-18. The government has so far approved spending of $935 million of the estimated $50 billion to construct 12 new submarines in Adelaide. French firm DCNS was chosen as the designer last year, signing an initial design mobilisation … [Read more...]