Australia to develop UAS capabilities

The federal government has announced an investment of up to $1.3 billion to develop a sovereign capability in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to enhance maritime surveillance capabilities.

Defence will soon call for industry to register to investigate the capability and capacity of Australian industry to deliver air vehicles, sensor payloads, integration, training and sustainment.

This will lead to the development of plans to acquire air vehicles between approximately 25 to 300kg in size.

A five year investment programme will see equipment regularly updated, with locally sourced UAS systems flying alongside existing small and large UAS systems, such as the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper armed aircraft (pictured).

Canberra is also backing the local development by Boeing of the Loyal Wingman unmanned jet aircraft.

Defence miniter Linda Reynolds CSC said: “Developing sovereign industrial capability through projects like this is critical to enhancing Australia’s industrial base and maritime security.

“This programme will provide opportunities for Australian industry to innovate, develop and grow.”

Picture: Defence/Reaper in Afghanistan

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