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Australian Defence invests A$13.4 million to develop innovative technologies

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced the latest Defence Innovation Hub innovation contracts totalling A$13.4 million. The announcement was made during Minister Pyne’s recent visit to Teledyne Defence Australia in Brisbane.

According to official press release, Minister Pyne said the Defence Innovation Hub continues to deliver a more streamlined and agile approach to Defence investment in innovation.

The significant investment in the Australian innovation and industry sector is to ensure that Australian Defence has access to leading-edge technology. It will also keep defence industry engaged in developing the latest technologies for Australia’s defence.

The five innovation contracts announced include:

(1) A $7.9 million contract to Daronmont Technologies in Victoria to build a prototype radar capability that could be used to replace existing technology used by Defence that is approaching end of life. It is the largest contract awarded by the Defence Innovation Hub since it was launched in December 2016.

(2) A $3.4 million contract to Teledyne Defence Australia in Queensland to develop a vehicle-mounted Improvised Explosive Device detection and clearance capability that uses an advanced radar system that could be integrated with existing ADF deployable vehicles.

(3) A $1.3 million contract to Sonartech Atlas Pty Ltd in New South Wales to investigate the potential of improving sonar performance and classification of underwater acoustic signals.

(4) A $528,000-worth contract to Quintessence Labs to develop a resilient encryption method that could protect sensitive data on mobile assets in uncontrolled or hostile environments through Virtual Zeroisation technology.

As reported earlier, Quintessence Labs was awarded a A$3.26-million contract to look into the feasibility of the establishment of highly secure communications links between two points, both fixed and over line of sight free space. The study is related to threats for Defence’s secure communications from the imminent arrival of quantum computing capabilities.

(5) A $276,000-worth contract to Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems in New South Wales to explore a cost-effective microwave-band Radar Electronic Support system to provide automated warnings and recording capability of potential threat signals without the need for a dedicated expert operator.  

Established in December 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub to facilitate and nurture the development of innovative technology and ideas in support of defence capability. As reported earlier, the top three priorities for investment in the 2017–18 financial year are: (1) Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare, Space and Cyber Priority, (2) key enablers include critical infrastructure, information and communications technology, logistics, science and technology, health services, and future energy resilience, and (3) land combat and amphibious warfare. 

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