The Australian Army’s next step in the development and acquisition of robotics and autonomous systems to support Australian soldiers was unveiled today.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP confirmed the Australian Army will fund the purchase of additional four Unmanned Ground Vehicles and accessories from Queensland company Praesidium Global at a total acquisition cost of $2 million.
Minister Pyne said the purchase was an excellent example of Defence supporting Australian sovereign defence industry.
“We are committed to building stronger relationships with defence industry and encouraging new innovative technology,” Minister Pyne said.
“The Unmanned Ground Vehicles will be used by the Army to support a 12-month user evaluation trial within the 2018–19 financial year.
“Unmanned Ground Vehicles will enhance the Army’s capability through assisting our soldiers with a range of manual handling tasks, such as moving heavy loads and field equipment, and casualty evacuations,” Minister Pyne said.
“During the trial, the Army will continue to explore the utility of robotics and autonomous systems and develop an understanding of how they can be best employed to support our soldiers.”
Andrew Wallace MP, Federal Member for Fisher where Praesidium Global is based said that this contract was another great win for the growing Sunshine Coast defence industry.
“The Sunshine Coast is fast emerging as an Australian defence industry hub. I have been working hard to support this growth with my Fisher Defence Industry Initiative, collaborating closely with local companies including Praesidium Global. I am grateful to the Minister for his faith in this innovative local defence product, which will help Australia lead the way in robotics and autonomous systems.” Mr Wallace said.
“My congratulations to David and the team at Praesidium Global. I look forward to working with them, and with our other Sunshine Coast defence industry businesses to make the most of future opportunities created by the Turnbull Government’s unprecedented investment.”