Australian Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, announced the award of a A$5.2 million (€3.2 million) contract to Melbourne-based AVT Australia during the Defence Innovation Hub Industry Conference in Canberra last week.
The contract is aimed at development of a system capable of improving the quality of images captured by drones, with AVT Australia seeking to reduce the size of the technology to enable integration of multiple sensors as well as incorporating a range of autonomous tracking algorithms.
“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,” the Minister observed.
She also announced a A$3.4 million contract with another Melbourne company, Textron Systems, to continue development of their drone technology. This follows a successful phase one contract with the Defence Innovation Hub and demonstrates the government’s commitment to exploring how UAS can further benefit the Australian Defence Force (ADF). “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,” she commented.
The government is investing approximately A$640 million in Australian industry through the Defence Innovation Hub, which aims to develop innovative technology with defence application. The third annual Defence Innovation Hub Industry Conference acknowledged the significant potential that Australian small businesses have to deliver advanced defence capabilities. “More than 85% of the almost 100 contracts so far awarded by the Defence Innovation Hub have been with small businesses,” Minister Price stated.