Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific has been selected by Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) to supply the Australian Army with 24 Integrator unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) under an A$650 million investment programme aimed at addressing LAND 129 Phase 3 project requirements, the DoD announced on 11 March.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the Integrator UASs will be able to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) “with enhanced abilities to gather intelligence, undertake reconnaissance and surveillance missions, and acquire targets for weapons systems”.
According to the DoD, the initial contract period with Insitu Pacific – which includes deliver and support of the UASs as well as associated ground systems and prime systems integrator services – will be worth A$307 million. Production has already commenced, with delivery expected between 2023 and 2024.
Insitu Pacific will also integrate components provided by over 20 Australian suppliers – including Ascent Vision Technologies, Orbital UAV, and Nova Systems – and produce the Integrator UASs at its primary facility in Brisbane, Queensland. Locally sourced components “will directly support critical capabilities for UAS growth and sustainability” including “sensing and software, advanced materials and propulsion, and seamless integration with existing and planned ADF systems”, Dutton asserted.
The DoD will also invest A$56 million to enhance facilities at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane to support the army’s Integrator UAS operations.
Insitu Pacific earlier entered a partnership with Perth-based aerospace company Innovaero to collaborate on UAS development, with the former providing its common architecture software and ground-control solutions to boost development of the latter’s InnovaeroFOX UAS.
The InnovaeroFOX UAS is being pitched for the DoD’s A$1.3 billion ‘Maritime UAS Continuous Development’ programme, which aims to deliver enhanced situational awareness through the acquisition of 25-300 kg-class UASs that can provide Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition (ISTAR) support.
by Jr Ng