The Government of Australia has awarded ten contracts for the defence industry to support the development of new capabilities for the armed forces.

Local businesses based in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia won the contracts and will be working on projects aimed at strengthening army and naval capabilities.

The contracts have a combined value of around $14.87m (A$20m) and will be funded through the Defence Innovation Hub.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “We are helping local companies to develop new technology to help keep Australia safe.

“The Defence Innovation Hub’s investment strategy has played a transformative role for Australia’s small-to-medium businesses and the way in which they innovate and support defence requirements.

“It is rewarding to have Australian businesses continue their partnership with the hub and mature their innovations towards delivering the future capabilities that defence needs.”

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Defence Innovation Hub is a government initiative that invests in innovative technologies and works to support the growth of the local defence industry.

The latest move increases the total number of contracts signed by the hub to more than 150 with a combined investment of more than $222.91m (A$300m).

The newly awarded contracts include a $2.9m (A$3.9m) order for Victoria-based RingIR to develop a portable device capable of detecting dangerous chemicals and explosives.

It also includes a $2.3m (A$3.1m) contract for Anywise Consulting to continue with the development of an integrated software and device system to monitor bridge conditions in deployed environments.

Mission Systems Australia secured a $2m (A$2.7m) contract to develop a networked underwater acoustic sensor while Queensland’s TAE Gas Turbines will develop a single-stage engine filter for the existing fleet of Abrams tanks with $1.63m (A$2.2m) funding.

Recently, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) received the first two new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US.