XTEK and Skykraft to develop spacecraft components and systems

Canberra and Adelaide defence equipment supplier XTEK (ASX: XTEK) has entered into an agreement with Skykraft Pty Ltd to jointly engineer and manufacture components and small spacecraft and space launcher systems.

XTEK, manufactures Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), tactical weapons such as sniper rifles, protection equipment, and explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) robots, while Skykraft is a space services company.

The two have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to utilise XTEK’s lightweight composites technologies to design and manufacture small space craft and launcher systems.

XTEK is led by managing director Philippe Odouard who is best known for leading the development of aerospace, defence and space composites firm Quickstep.

Odouard said: “This MoU with Skykraft represents a significant commercialisation for XTEK’s composites capabilities.

“This provides external validation for (XTEK’s) XTclave technology and provides us a valuable opportunity to expand our capabilities and presence in the growing Australian space composites sector and beyond the defence sector.”

Odouard said the MoU would accelerate the commercialisation of XTclave, which is a composite curing technology initially developed as a manufacturing process for ballistic protection laminates.

The technology offers the potential for higher strength to weight rations due to ultra-high pressures utilised in processing, and had the advantage of reducing ‘outglassing’ which is a concern for composites when in space.

The company has already begun working on a lightweight carbon fibre satellite structure design, he said.

XTEK produces the XTEK TAC 2 sniper rifle for the Australian Army, body armour and helmets, x-ray and forensics equipment, EOD robots and electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems.

Picture: XTEK/EOD robot

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