The Australian Government has made a multimillion dollar investment to develop future defence technology, under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon said the program will receive up to $13 million to be managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
“The program supports Australian industry to develop and demonstrate new technologies that could contribute to Defence capability. Eight technology proposals have been selected this year to demonstrate possible defence applications,” Mr Snowdon said.
“By supporting these proposals, we create the potential to advance Defence capability, produce innovative products for Defence and civilian use, and stimulate Australian industry growth.”
Mr Snowdon made the announcement at the University of Sydney’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering where technology related to one of the proposals to be funded was demonstrated.
“That proposal will leverage the latest developments in photonic signal processing to enable very small and fast-moving targets to be quickly discerned even in unpredictable battlefield scenarios when there is a significant amount of signal clutter,” Mr Snowdon said.
“It aims to increase the electronic warfare capability of our Anzac-class frigates, and might also be applicable to the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Future Frigate.
“The Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program has produced very good results for high-risk research and development projects that benefit Defence and Australian industry.
“This year’s successful proposals for Round 17 include a project to develop a lightweight combat helmet with greater protection from high-powered rifles and fragments, a system that will help helicopter crews see in bad weather, and technology that will protect electronic warfare systems from electronic interference,” he said.
“I congratulate all of the companies, in particular the four small-to-medium enterprises and an academic institution that have succeeded in getting through the highly competitive selection process for Round 17.”
Since the Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program began, Defence has invested $250 million in 104 projects, half of them proposed by small-to-medium enterprises. Ninety-four projects have been completed, 86 of them have had successful demonstrations and 15 of these have entered service. Ten projects are still in progress under contract.
“A number of current and recently completed projects look promising for future transition into service,” Mr Snowdon said.
Naval Today Staff, March 15, 2013; Image: Australian Govt