Innovation Hub funds drones for defence

Drone technology in Australia has received $8.6 million in funding in two, joint announcements by the Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price.

Melbourne company, Textron Systems will use a $3.4 million contract to further develop their drone technology. The partnership between the company and defence comes on the heels of an agreement between Textron and the Defence Innovation Hub.

Textron and the Department of Defence will continue to explore how unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, can be used by the Australian Defence Forces.

“Defence is Australia’s largest and most experienced UAS operator, and it’s important to remain at the cutting edge of a capability that offers superior surveillance, intelligence and force protection,” said Price.

In addition, AVT Australia will use $5.2 million in funding to improve the quality of images captured by drones.

Using multiple sensors included in the one drone, while utilising autonomous tracking algorithms, AVT Australia will simplify and improve the technology used to produces images by UAS.

“AVT Australia is committed to developing the world’s best micro gimbal system which could provide a significant capability edge in a future battlefield environment,” said Price.

These grants are part of the Defence Innovation Hub, which has provided funding to small businesses whose innovation technologies could provide previously unknown capabilities to the Australian defence forces.

“More than 85 per cent of the almost 100 contracts so far awarded by the Defence Innovation Hub have been with small businesses,” said Price.

“And since its inception, investment from the Defence Innovation Hub has resulted in the creation of over 200 new local Australian jobs.”