Insitu Pacific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, has secured a contract to deliver uncrewed aerial systems (UASs) to the Australian Army.
As agreed, the company will deliver 24 of its Integrator UASs, along with associated ground systems and integration services. The uncrewed aircraft will be used for intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance missions, as well as to identify targets for weapons systems.
The Integrator system also supports modular and field-swappable payloads, thereby increasing operational efficiencies.
The contract award is part of the government’s $471.5m (A$650m) defence investment. The procurement and initial contract period with Insitu carry a value of approximately $222.7m (A$307m).
Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said: “This project will enhance the Australian Army’s capabilities by harnessing the innovation and cutting-edge technologies being developed right here in Australia.
“Insitu Pacific will manufacture the new platform at their facility in Brisbane, and integrate components provided by suppliers from around Queensland and across Australia.
“To support the delivery of this capability, the Morrison Government will also invest A$56m in facilities at the Gallipoli Barracks, in Enoggera. We will also see an upgrade to a number of our Bushmasters, and associated sustainment over the next decade.”
The deliveries are scheduled to begin next year, and continue to 2024.
Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans said: “People may not have always associated Brisbane with defence industry in the past, but projects like this demonstrate the real opportunities advanced manufacturing can offer, now and into the future.”
Australia recently announced that it will increase its defence personnel by nearly 30%, to approximately 80,000, by 2040.
The expansion will involve an investment of at least $28bn (A$38bn).