The Government of Australia has awarded a total of nine contracts to support the development of new technologies for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The new Defence Innovation Hub contracts involve a combined investment of A$19m ($14.21m).

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “I am delighted to see this investment in businesses and a research organisation to help Defence harness cutting-edge capabilities that could help protect and sustain ADF personnel in the field.”

The contracts include a A$5.31m order for South Australia-based RFTEQ to develop a counter improvised threat solution that could detect and neutralise complex threat signals to increase ADF personnel and equipment safety.

Victoria’s QinetiQ won a A$3.63m contract to develop a thermoelectric heat recovery system for naval vessels while RUAG Australia received A$2.43m order to continue with the development of additive technologies that will enable damaged metal components to be repaired.

Victorian companies DefendTex Research Labs and Sentient Vision Systems won contracts worth A$1.84m and A$1.74m, respectively, in the latest round.

Defendtex will develop an uncrewed ground vehicle that can destroy enemy armoured vehicles while Sentient will work on an electro-optical camera array system that can offer intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities at high altitudes.

Other contract winners include Boresight, Arkwright Technologies, Blueprint, and Daronmont Technologies .

Minister Price added: “Several of the new contracts will focus on the development of uncrewed systems that could improve the safety of our soldiers, sailors, and aviators by enabling them to respond to threats remotely.”

Earlier this week, the Australian government announced a A$23m Defence Innovation Hub contract award round involving ten companies.

Last month, the government committed $656m (A$875m) to upgrade major defence sites across the country.