Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has announced the award of five contracts via the country’s Defence Innovation Hub.
The new deals are worth a combined A$5.9m ($4.61m) and are expected to help meet the capability needs required to ensure Australia’s current and future national security.
L3 Oceania has received an A$2.9m ($2.26m) contract to explore the development of an underwater acoustic sensor for use by the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) maritime division.
The UK’s University of Newcastle has also agreed to develop an improved resilience training system for ADF personnel under a A$2.2m ($1.71m) contract, which will involve a set of virtual reality-based training sessions that include controlled exposure to adverse environments.
The remaining three contracts were awarded to Agent Oriented Software, Explosive Protective Equipment and Griffith University respectively.
Agent Oriented Software will develop an autonomous intelligent software agent capability that is resilient to cyber-attacks, while Explosive Protective Equipment is set to integrate a Cobham Amulet Ground Penetrating Radar into an existing unmanned ground vehicle for the detection of improvised explosive devices.
Additionally, Griffith University will develop a portable device that enables real-time detection of airborne biological threats.
Pyne said: “I look forward to seeing more of these valuable and exciting ideas as we harness the innovation potential of Australia’s defence industry through the Defence Innovation Hub.”
The Defence Innovation Hub has invested close to A$20m ($15.6m) in various industry and research organisations across Australia to mature and further develop the country’s defence technologies since launching in December 2016.
The Australian Government has committed to supporting the local defence industry during the developing of these new capabilities.