Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has announced the latest tranche of five new Defence Innovation Hub contracts.
The five new innovation contracts have a total value of A$5.3m ($4.12m). They were awarded to BAE Systems Australia, Zangold of Queensland, Nova Defence, XKG Technologies of Victoria, and Data61.
The new contracts will help retain 23 job opportunities across the defence industry and the innovation sector of the country, in addition to strengthening its armed forces.
In a statement, Pyne said that the defence capabilities of Australia mainly depend on the nation’s capacity to build new tools and systems, and offer new approaches in order to manage rising regional and global threats.
Pyne further said: “Providing our troops with the latest in innovative defence technologies will ensure we remain resilient to these threats, and our defence industry plays a crucial part in helping us achieve this.”
“The Defence Innovation Hub is a key initiative of the Turnbull government bringing industry and defence together to undertake collaborative innovation activities from concept through to introduction into service.”
BAE Systems Australia was awarded an A$2.3m ($1.79m) order for a project to explore the potential use of laser technology to detect low-intensity signals.
Launched in December 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub awarded the first defence prime contract to BAE Systems Australia as part of the Defence Industry Policy Statement.
With a total investment of approximately A$640m ($498.67m) between 2025-26, the defence initiative intends to develop technologies that have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development stages of the innovation process.
Development of innovations is placed into four different phases, including the concept exploration phase, the technology demonstration phase, the prototype system phase and the integrated capability development phase.