BAE Systems Australia is increasing investment in support of development of a sovereign high-speed weapons capability over the next four years.

Project Javelin builds on over 30 years’ R&D in Australian weapon systems, autonomous systems and hypersonic technologies, including the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, NULKA and the Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile (ASRAAM). In the past decade alone, over A$11 million (€7.1 million) has been invested in collaborative programmes with government, industry and academia. A further A$5 million is to be spent fast-tracking technology development in 2021, with additional investments planned for the next four years. The project complements the company’s existing industrial capabilities in advanced manufacturing and prototyping, battlespace management systems and flight vehicle platform technologies.

The development of sovereign high-speed weapons capabilities (and defences against them) will create new opportunities for Australian industry and academia, through the investment of new and complementary design, development and manufacturing capabilities, which could lead to potential defence exports.

The initiative follows the Australian government’s commitment to development of long-range strike capabilities at the end of last year. The 2020 Force Structure Plan includes an investment of around A$30 billion for both high-speed strike and defence capabilities, including hypersonics development, test and evaluation.

That Australia has a solid foundation of research built over decades means that the rapid integration of newly developed weapons into the force structure is achievable […] BAE Systems has a rich history of working closely with defence companies and defence customers around the world, particularly US primes on weapons programmes […] Australia’s future investment in high-speed weapons systems, including hypersonic long-range strike and hypersonic and ballistic missile defence, provides the opportunity for the nation to create an enduring sovereign capability and position the country as a major global contributor in this disruptive technology field […] It’s so important that the intellectual property of new weapons technologies resides with Australia so that, as well as developing a sovereign capability, we can continue our work with Defence, academia and industry to evolve these technologies over time,” commented BAE Systems Australia Chief Technology Officer, Brad Yelland.

An Evolved Sea Sparrow launch from a USN vessel. (Photo via Wikipedia)

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