The Australian Government has signed two new Defence Innovation Hub contracts with UAV Vision and Textron Systems Australia for the further development of unmanned aerial system (UAS) capabilities.

The new agreements will help the Australian Department of Defence continue to maintain its enhanced capability to offer increased surveillance, intelligence and force protection to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The government has signed a $2.1m contract with UAV Vision for the development of a lightweight micro gimbal with a wide number of integrated systems.

The other agreement signed with Textron Systems Australia will see the development of small UAS (SUAS) systems.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The $2.1m contract signed with UAV Vision will allow the company to develop a lightweight, compact micro gimbal with several integrated systems to enhance performance and accuracy.

“This government is committed to creating a seamless link between capability needs, smart ideas and innovation in Australian industry.”

“Textron Systems Australia signed a $283,000 contract to develop a small UAS, including communications system, sensors and ground control systems.

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“This government is committed to creating a seamless link between capability needs, smart ideas and innovation in Australian industry.”

Australian Department of Defence Aviation director general Brigadier Scott Benbow said that the two companies attended a demonstration at the Australian Army training facility Puckapunyal Military Area to evaluate the current UAS capability in action.

Benbow said: “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.”

The Defence Innovation Hub works in collaboration with innovative industry partners to fund technologies in order to jointly design and develop them to address the capability needs of the defence force.

In April this year, Australian Army partnered with the Defence Innovation Hub to award three new contracts to SYPAQ Systems, NSW JAR Aerospace and the University of Sydney for the development of an advanced SUAS.