The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled $4m plans to develop an emergency flotation device for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Australian company One Atmosphere will collaborate with Airbus Group Australia Pacific to develop the new Pegasus aircraft buoyancy system.

Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne said: "The government is investing an additional $4m in funding for this innovative Australian company to develop a system that will help ensure the safety of our ADF members.

"The Pegasus technology will be initially focused on the Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter to support their use from HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide.

"This high-priority capability is exactly the sort of innovative solution that we need to support the ADF."

"Congratulations to One Atmosphere and Airbus Group Australia Pacific for their role in developing this high-priority capability, which is exactly the sort of innovative solution that we need to support the ADF."

The new system is expected to offer additional buoyancy to rotary wing aircraft that have crashed into the sea and potentially provide extra time for the aircrew to escape safely.

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The funding will cover further development of the technology and its potential application for the Tiger helicopter.

Earlier this month, the Australian DoD released a white paper highlighting the government’s $195bn investment plans for the country’s defence capabilities over the coming decade.

Australia has decided to increase the ADF workforce to approximately 62,400.

The army will receive new equipment for soldiers and combat engineering, as well as a new generation of armoured combat reconnaissance and infantry fighting vehicles.