The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has placed new purchase orders with local company XTEK for the delivery of drone spare parts under the Australian Army’s Land 129 Phase 4a contract.
The purchase orders are valued at A$6.3m ($4.56m) and will cover the delivery of spare parts that will be used by the ADF to support its fleet of small unmanned aerial systems (SUASs).
With an aim to support the production and delivery of the drones, the company has completed the development of new, advanced and comprehensive small unmanned aerial vehicle repair facility in Canberra.
XTEK managing director Philippe Odouard said: “These purchase orders, coupled with the repair facilities in Canberra, represent another significant milestone in XTEK’s strategy to increase the amount of work done by the company in adding value for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products sold in Australia.
“We are excited to be providing this unique Australian Industry Capability to the ADF.”
The latest SUAS repair facility is installed with major maintenance equipment provided by US-based aircraft technology company AeroVironment. The new maintenance tools help carry out electronic repairs on the drones.
Besides the repair facility, XTEK has also established a new composite repair facility, which has been established to offer a wide range of Australian industry capabilities (AICs) to repair and upgrade the existing SUAS fleet used by the Australian Army.
The new AIC repair facilities are built to help reduce the overall support costs of the small autonomous systems in the future.
These facilities will serve as the only maintenance site for the AeroVironment WASP AE SUAS outside the US.
The SUAS system is being acquired by the ADF under the LAND 129 Phase 4 programme and will be deployed to provide an organic airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability for tactical land forces.