Eight major Australian-owned space and defense companies formed a new consortium to take advantage of increased federal government funding and the need for sovereign space defense capabilities around satellites and situational awareness.
The Australian Defense Industry Space Capability Alliance (ADISCA) was revealed at the Australian Space Forum on Thursday, saying it can collectively address the entire Sovereign Industrial Capability priority of space. of the defense.
ADISCA members are DEWC Systems, Gilmour Space Technologies, Inovor Technologies, Neumann Space, Nova Systems, Southern Launch, REDARC Defense Systems and Space Machines Company.
The consortium was unveiled the same day the federal government announced a $20 million investment in Australia’s space park, with a further $20 million coming from the South Australian government and $26.1 million from the private sector.
The ADISCA companies came together after signals from the Department of Defense that consortia will be better equipped to respond to proposals in the next three to four years, according to Gilmour Space Technologies founder and chief executive Adam Gilmour.
“We have a clear message from Defense that in the short term they will want to deal with consortia of Australian small and medium sized companies rather than just trying to find a preferred partner. [contractor]Mr. Gilmour told InnovationAus.
The new group wants to add more members and possibly tap into global space supply chains with joint deals, but it will immediately focus on projects that develop Australia’s sovereign space capability.
In September last year, space was added as a new sovereign industrial capacity priority, signaling the government’s intention to develop its industrial base, including making the sector eligible for the Defense.
The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant program has funded more than 100 opportunities, worth about $64 million since its inception in 2018, but much more could come after a $7 billion boost to the Defense Space Program .
The space industry is also planning more work for major Defense satellite programs such as JP9102 and Def 799.
The space industrial capability priority is currently focused on satellite systems, services and capabilities, with Defense wishing to develop local options for communications, space domain awareness, position, navigation and timing, and intelligence, monitoring and reconnaissance.
ADISCA said it could cover all these areas between the launches and space vehicles of its eight members and the design and manufacture of payloads, in space propulsion and transport, and launch and control services. of mission.
Members Gilmour Space Technologies and Southern Launch currently control Australia’s two most promising launch sites.
“ADISCA is a truly sovereign collaboration in response to the Commonwealth’s call for Australian industry to provide expertise to further our nation’s interests in space,” the ADISCA spokesperson said. and managing director of DEWC Systems, Ian Spencer.
“We look forward to Defense engaging with our highly qualified Australian consortium to launch future Defense related space projects.”
The Department of Defense is increasingly prioritizing space and will create a new space division this year with a $7 billion funding increase announced in 2020. Space will account for approximately 3% of the investment total in defense over the next 10 years.
The federal government this week announced around $85 million in new space funding outside of defence, including a boost for the Australian Space Agency, more launch site infrastructure and a new spacecraft manufacturing center. satellites in Adelaide.
The sector also expects further funding announcements ahead of the May election.
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