Defence unleashes promise of autonomous, underwater vessels

Defence is often criticised for favouring large, traditional naval systems such as submarines and frigates while going slow on the future role of small, autonomous and unmanned underwater systems. Following news last month that defence was in negotiations for a US$100 million co-funded design, development and manufacturing programme for extra large autonomous underwater vehicles (XL-AUVs),…

Space Machines to launch its Optimus in-space orbital transfer vehicle

Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner to carry its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) to space as part of its April 2023 mission. SMC’s Optimus OTV is one of the largest commercial spacecraft designed and manufactured in Australia. The 2023 mission will demonstrate…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

From landfill to useful rail infrastructure The Victorian Government will invest $1.6 million to install a new production line that will process used plastic bags into durable railway sleepers as part of its Recycling Modernisation Fund. The Integrated Recycling facility in Mildura, where Duratrack railway sleepers made from 85 per cent recycled plastic will be…

Election 22 the real issues – industry policy by bureaucrats or consultants

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with a critical assessment of industry policy, and the role of multi-national company consultants. Here Lance Worrall and Glenn Downey look at the policy advice challenge Whichever coloured ties and scarves (blue or red) forms the majority of the House…