EOS’s breakthrough in becoming Australian prime defence contractor

By Peter Roberts

Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has reported March quarter results which confirm its progress towards becoming a genuine Australian sovereign defence prime contractor.

In Australia our companies are considered at best suppliers to overseas defence primes, but the Canberra company’s 2020 results confirmed in the latest quarter suggest it continues to position itself, as the company says, ‘as a sovereign Australian prime contractor’.

In a March quarter activity statement to investors EOS said delivery for its major export project was back on track following Covid-19 disruption, while its EM Solutions and SpaceLink communications products made progress and its Space Systems business continued technological development.

In defence business in the quarter:

  • The federal government accepted 90 of an ordered 251 remote weapons systems (RWS) ordered for the army with 530 units to be in service by the third quarter
  • Korea’s Hanwha Defence contracted EOS to build three T2000 turrets for Redback armoured vehicles (pictured) – EOS is the turret provider for Redback and the RWS supplier for the alternative supplier being considered by the army, Rheinmetall
  • The C4Edge program developing a command, control, communications and computing solution for Defence was meeting all technical milestones and has recently added three further SME industry partners.

The company’s biggest-ever export contract to the Middle East worth up to $450 million has now resumed after Covid-19 disruption, according to the update.

“EOS has now cleared all delivery obstacles, restored disrupted administrative processes, and has pre-positioned over $120 million of completed product ready for customer testing and acceptance which is now proceeding normally.”

The company said it expected an order in mid-2021 from a NATO country for RWS systems which would be followed by larger follow-on orders.

EOS’s Mopoke counter-UAS (CUAS) system, which utilises lasers to knock out drones, is undergoing testing in Australia of radar, electronic warfare, kinetic systems and directed energy.

“Mopoke will undergo several customer evaluations within 90 days in this mode, with contract awards anticipated in H2, 2021.

“EOS also completed another successful CUAS demonstration for the US government in April.”

In the space sector during the March quarter:

  • Four one metre SATCOM antenna systems were shipped for fitment to frigates ordered by three European NATO navies
  • The eighth and final Cobra terminal was delivered to the Royal Australian Navy for fitting to Anzac class frigates
  • And orders were received for four two metre fleet terminals.

Picture: Electro Optic Systems/Hanwha Redback Land 400 turret

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