Government invests $23 million to boost Defence capabilities

Defence

Ten contracts have been awarded to Australian businesses totalling $23 million from the federal government, aiming to strengthen the capability of the Australian Defence Force. 

“These contracts awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub will help Defence maintain a capability advantage in our dynamic strategic environment, while boosting the competitiveness of our industry innovation sector,” minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said. 

Five of these contracts, collectively valued at more than $5 million, aim to manage and improve the health and safety of Australian Defence Force personnel. 

This includes a $1.81 million contract with South Australian-based company Prism Systems, which will develop an immersive digital precision approach system to improve aircraft and ship visibility. 

Canberra-based company ECLIPS Logistics has also received a $1.68 million contract to continue the development of an advanced autonomous robotic system for handling Defence artillery. 

A $290,000 contract with NSW-based company, Invicta Prospectus Group, will develop a unique software system incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning for operational decision-making. 

“We are also investing $1.13 million through a contract with Queensland company, EPE, to develop a device that can be installed on uncrewed systems to detect chemical and explosive threats and keep our soldiers safe,” Price said. 

The other five new Hub contracts, collectively worth more than $18 million, will develop innovations to strengthen Defence capabilities. 

These include a $5.88 million contract with Victorian-based company, A.W Bell Machinery, to develop a high-grade titanium casting system for in-service aircraft and a $5.66 million contract with NSW-based company Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems to develop a cost-effective maritime radar electronic support system. 

“These contracts will harness the incredible innovative potential of our defence industry and deliver the Australian Defence Force a capability edge to defend Australia,” Price said. 

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au. 

The new contracts announced under the Defence Innovation Hub:

Organisation  State  Contract Value 

(GST incl.) 

Description of innovation 
A.W. Bell Machinery Pty Ltd  VIC  $5.88 

million 

To develop a world-leading high grade titanium casting system for in-service aircraft that could enhance Air Force capabilities. 
Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems Pty Ltd  NSW  $5.66 million  To continue the development of a cost-effective maritime radar electronic support system that could provide automated warnings on the detection of potential threat signals from platforms operating in the same area as the host vessel. 
Agent Orient Software Pty Ltd  VIC  $3.33 million  To continue the development of an enhanced version of Agent’s intelligent software system that could offer advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications that aid and enhance decision making capabilities. 
IAS Asia Pacific Pty Ltd  VIC  $2.44 million  To develop a multispectral optical radar using advanced sensors and algorithms for enhanced object detection that could provide aircraft systems with the ability to conduct extensive wide area search operations across multiple defence environments. 
Prism Systems Pty Ltd  SA  $1.81 million  To develop a digital precision approach system for aviation systems, that could utilise ship and aircraft navigation systems at night and in poor visibility to improve platform safety in a cost-effective manner. 
ECLIPS Logistics Pty Ltd  ACT  $1.68 million  To develop an advanced autonomous robotic system for Defence artillery that could reduce the challenges of manual handling requirements and safety risks to ADF personnel, while speeding up resupply. 
EPE Pty Ltd  QLD  $1.13 million  To develop a handheld explosive detector that can be integrated onto uncrewed systems to assist with the detection and classification of chemical and explosive threats to reduce risk to ADF personnel. 
Mincham Aviation Pty Ltd  SA  $1.12 million  To develop a deployable payload delivery system that could be launched from a variety of platforms to strategic equipment in a desired target location. 
Invicta Prospectus Group Pty Ltd  NSW  $290,000  To develop a unique software system incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning that could improve Defence operational decision making and enhance personnel health and safety. 
Moog Australia  VIC  $257,000  To develop protection systems for next-generation armoured vehicles to significantly improve vehicle and soldier survivability.