After three years of quiet development, AIM Defence’s state-of-the-art directed energy facility was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles and local federal member, and Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor. The facility, sponsored by RAAF Jericho, houses world-leading high-power-laser research and development labs, as well as the largest directed-energy test range in the Southern Hemisphere, cementing Australia’s place as a global leader in high power laser development.
The more than 2,000sqm facility is equipped with a range of sensors capable of operating and analysing high power lasers, advanced fabrication equipment, and both an additive and subtractive manufacturing centre. This provides the unique ability to prototype, build, and test high power laser systems in both simulated and real world environments. The facility has already accelerated the production of several Australian high power laser capabilities, including AIM’s ultra-compact Counter-UAS (Uncrewed Aerial System) system, Fractl:1.
By building rapid prototyping and test capabilities, AIM is increasing the pace at which cutting edge Australian research can be translated into capability and delivered into service.
“The ability to rapidly test and iterate laser technology without the need to conduct expensive outdoor trials, provides Australia with the competitive edge needed to cement its already considerable lead in compact counter-drone technology,” said Dr Jae Daniel, Co-founder of AIM Defence.
AIM’s continued investment into developing sovereign test and manufacturing facilities comes off the back of a string of defence contracts and signals the strong level of support, across a wide range of ADF stakeholders, for the rapid development and continuous integration approach AIM has taken to capability development.
“With our partners from across Defence, AIM has proven that Australia has the ability to build the best compact laser systems in the world. Our range opening, together with the recent acquisition of sovereign UAV company NearSat and our team’s ongoing expansion, reinforces our commitment to delivering a range of deployable tactical directed energy capabilities for the ADF and our allies around the world,” said Jessica Glenn, Co-founder of AIM Defence.