Gilmour awarded $15 million to develop and launch Australian surveillance satellite

Gilmour Space Technologies has been awarded a $15 million contract to develop and launch a new sovereign surveillance satellite, with launch scheduled for mid-2023.

“Under this deal, Gilmour Space will be developing a G-class satellite for Defence and launching it on our Eris rocket from an Australian launch site,” said founder and CEO Adam Gilmour in a statement on Monday. 

“We firmly believe that partnerships like this will help to grow future Space and Defence primes in Australia and lead to more capability for Defence in the years ahead.”

Gilmour and Defence announced a partnership in 2020, for research on what was then described as “defence-related technologies including propulsion, materials and avionics technologies, to help develop a three-stage hybrid rocket that will launch small payloads and satellites.” 

“Since that time, we have been testing materials and propulsion technologies – all with a view to developing a hybrid rocket to launch payloads and small satellites,” said defence minister Peter Dutton.

Dutton said the $15 million investment announced on Monday was “to counter threats and assure our continued access to space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

Gold Coast-based Gilmour was established in 2013 by Adam and brother James. The venture-backed company is Australia’s largest in the space sector, employing approximately 140.  

In March the Gilmour Space-led Australian Space Manufacturing Network consortium was awarded a $52 million grant from the federal government to help establish three new Queensland facilities, including an orbital spaceport at Abbot Point.

Picture: supplied

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