Innovators working on next era of unmanned aerial systems

18 January 2021

Defence Innovation Hub partners, UAV Vision and Textron Systems Australia, have checked out Army’s current Wasp unmanned aerial capability to inform their work on the next era of the technology under new contracts with the hub.

Announcing the signing of Defence Innovation Hub contracts with the two companies, Minister Christopher Pyne said it was essential that Defence, as Australia’s largest and most experienced unmanned aerial system (UAS) operator, remained at the cutting edge of a capability that offers superior surveillance, intelligence and force protection.

'This Government is committed to creating a seamless link between capability needs, smart ideas and innovation in Australian industry,' Minister Pyne said.

UAV Vision signed a $2.1 million contract to allow the company to develop a lightweight, compact micro gimbal with several integrated systems to enhance performance and accuracy.

Textron Systems Australia signed a $283,000 contract to develop a small UAS including communications system, sensors and ground control systems.

Brigadier Benbow, Director General Aviation, said both innovators attended a demonstration at Puckapunyal to see current UAS capability in action and speak with operators.

'These innovators are working on an exciting and important capability, key to modernising our Army and enhancing the capabilities of Australian soldiers on the battlefield,' Brigadier Benbow said.

The Defence Innovation Hub partners with innovators to provide funding so that technologies can be matured in a collaborative way that supports Defence capability needs.