Eight grants to develop priority defence capabilities


Eight small to medium-sized businesses delivering priority capabilities for Defence will be assisted by federal government grants totalling $3.47 million.

The Defence Global Competitiveness and Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant programmes help Australian businesses boost manufacturing, harness their expertise and increase jobs.

The latest recipients are:

  • QPE Advanced Manufacturing (pictured) will receive $1 million to acquire and commission a five-axis computerised numerical control (CNC) mill, CNC cylindrical grinder and optical scanning system to be used in the manufacture and maintenance of components used in submarine and aerospace domains
  • Hexion Australia will receive $1 million to establish a hexamine production facility for use in explosives ordnance and munitions manufacturing.
  • Gilmour Space Technologies will receive $715,000 to design, build and commission a facility for production of high-test peroxide as a propellant for use in hybrid rocket motors in space vehicles.
  • Elexon Electronics will receive $338,000 to acquire and commission a solder paste inspection system and a computed tomography x-ray machine for automated inspection of printed circuit boards for defence radar and communications systems
  • Betaserv will receive $146,000 to acquire and commission a suite of scanning capabilities to allow phased array ultrasonic testing of armour-plating in self-propelled howitzer artillery vehicles.
  • Sentient Vision Systems (Vic) will receive $108,000 to acquire and integrate enhanced data-processing capabilities which support the development of artificial intelligence models for image-based surveillance and reconnaissance solutions.
  • Reach Robotics will receive $104,000 to acquire and commission a hydrostatic pressure chamber to conduct product validation of underwater robotic arms to a depth of 6000m as well as a coordinate measuring machine, lathe and vacuum pump for validation of precision components.
  • And Droneshield will receive almost $59,000 to acquire two spectrum analysers for use in developing radio frequency (RF) detection and RF finding sensors used in anti-drone and electronic warfare systems.

In total, 239 grants worth more than $104 million have been awarded to Australian businesses through both programmes.

In recent rounds, businesses have been awarded grants to produce a diverse range of components including hybrid rocket motors, explosive ordnance, self-propelled artillery vehicles, radar and surveillance systems, communication systems, anti-drone technologies, robotics and submarines.

The Minister for Defence Industry, the Pat Conroy said: “Small to medium-sized businesses play an important role in developing and sustaining the capabilities the Australian Defence Force needs to protect us and our national interests.

“Through Defence grant programmes, the government continues to help innovative local businesses grow, and create high-skilled, well-paid jobs.

Meanwhile the Defence Industry Development Grant program is expected to be launched in June 2024.

This new programme, which is aligned with the Defence Industry Development Strategy, will have dedicated streams for supporting eligible Australian businesses to develop their capabilities in relation to sovereign industrial priorities, exports, skilling and security.

Further reading:
Conroy raises hopes for defence industry development strategy

Picture: QPE Advanced Manufacturing

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