Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo, MP, tours Thomas Global Systems with CEO Angus Hutchinson, Chairman William Hutchinson and Engineer Joshua Gibbons, at the facility in Regents Park, Sydney.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo, MP (second from left), tours Thomas Global Systems with CEO Angus Hutchinson (left), Chairman William Hutchinson (second from right) and Engineer Joshua Gibbons, at the facility in Regents Park, Sydney.

Five Australian businesses have been awarded contracts with a combined value of more than $12 million to further develop their innovative technologies to support the Australian Defence Force. The contracts will be funded through the Defence Innovation Hub.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, announced the signing of the contracts during a visit to Thomas Global Systems in Sydney.

As part of this investment, Sentient Vision Systems, a small Australian computer vision technology company, was awarded a $5.5 million contract to explore the development of a land Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) system that utilises electro-optics with a new infra-red capability for low light and night time functionality. If successful, this technology will offer wide-area detection, tracking and classification capability that can be deployed on both manned and unmanned platforms.

Contracts were also awarded to:

  • Thomas Global Systems ($3.2 million) to explore development of a next generation digital biocular image control unit for armoured vehicle applications
  • Penten ($2 million), for new technology to create decoy radio emissions designed to confuse adversaries as to the location of Army units
  • Ocius ($1.7 million), to determine the viability of an intelligent command and control network of persistent unmanned surface vessels
  • Amatek Design ($288,000) to further develop the concept for a heavy lifter quad-copter drone for Army combat service support

Since beginning operations in December 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub has signed 68 new innovation contracts valued at over $86 million.