Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne has announced the signing of two Defence Innovation Hub contracts to Defence Vision and Textron Systems Australia to further develop unmanned aerial system (UAS) capabilities.
He said it was essential that Defence, as Australia’s largest and most experienced UAS operator, remained at the cutting edge of a capability that offers superior surveillance, intelligence and force protection.
“The $2.1 million contract signed with Defence Vision will allow the company to develop a lightweight, compact micro gimbal with several integrated systems to enhance performance and accuracy,” the minister said.
“Textron Systems Australia signed a $283,000 contract to develop a small UAS including communications system, sensors and ground control systems.”
The ADF’s Director General Aviation BRIG Scott Benbow said both innovators attended a demonstration at Puckapunyal Military Area to see current UAS capability in action and speak with operators.
“These innovators are working on an exciting and important capability, key to modernising our Army and enhancing the capabilities of Australian soldiers on the battlefield,” BRIG Benbow said.
The award to Defence Vision is the fourth largest Defence Innovation Hub contract, and will support the development of a micro gimbal to provide 50x zoom electro-optical and custom thermal (LWIR) imaging, and a range of smart enhancements in a sub-250g UAS. The micro gimbal will have embedded features that will allow an unmanned aerial vehicle to navigate and operate in GPS and radio-denied environments.
“This is an exciting project for UAV Vision and we are glad to be supporting our homeland by providing a cutting-edge micro gimbal for the Australian Army,” CEO of Defence Vision Michael Bailey said.
“We are grateful to the ADF for recognising our capabilities in providing world-leading optical solutions for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. We are looking forward to working alongside other Australian companies to provide the ultimate miniature surveillance solution.”