The Australian government has signed a $4.35 million contract with veteran-owned South Australian company, Asension, to deliver a space-based tactical sensor system for use by Defence. The contract, awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to collaborating with defence industry and leveraging the ingenuity that resides across Australia to deliver a capability edge for Defence.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy, who visited Asension’s headquarters in Adelaide on 19 August, said sovereign, space-enabled capabilities are critical to the future of Defence. “The government’s partnership with innovative small businesses such as Asension will be critical to growing a robust, resilient and innovative industrial base for space technologies in Australia,” Conroy said. “Under this contract, Asension will continue the development of a sovereign, space-based tactical sensor system. If successful, this technology will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) capability in the space domain through greater situational awareness and visibility.”

The contract follows Asension’s success in maturing their sensor technology through a previous Hub contract awarded in 2020. This latest investment will continue the strong collaboration with the ADF in progressing the development of a tactical sensor that will be at the cutting edge. “This investment will help build Australia’s sovereign space industry and skilled workforce,” Conroy said.

The chief executive officer of Asension, Ian Spencer, said the contract was an exciting opportunity for the small business to grow its workforce and to progress important space capability for Defence. “This contract has been pivotal to the successful development of this capability to date and has enabled Asension to grow as a company.”

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