In a first for the Avalon Innovation Awards, presented today on the first day of AVALON 2023, both the National and the SME Innovation Awards have been won by the same company.

Melbourne-based 1MILLIKELVIN Pty Limited was named winner of both the National Innovation Award and SME Innovation Award at the presentation ceremony, held today as part of day one of the AVALON 2023 Australian International Airshow & Aerospace and Defence Exposition at Avalon Airport at Geelong, Victoria.

1MILLIKELVIN won both awards for its world-leading work developing a stress imaging camera system that provides a full-colour representation of the stress on a mechanical structure under loads, such as the airframes of crewed and uncrewed aircraft and helicopters.

The panel of eight judges, led by former Deputy Chief Defence Scientist Dr Bill Schofield AM, agreed that 1MILLIKELVIN’s entry was a deserving winner for both awards.

The Young Innovator Award was presented to BAE Systems Australia Melbourne engineer, Mr Callum Rohweder, for his work on developing the core guidance, navigation and control algorithms at the heart of the Australian-developed Vehicle Management System (VMS) for the Boeing MQ-28A Ghost Bat uncrewed aerial vehicle.

This year, for the first time, the winners of the SME Innovation Award and Young Innovator Award were presented with a cheque for $50,000 each.  These monetary Awards, funded entirely by AMDA Foundation Limited, are meant to be life-changing, especially for the winner of the Young Innovator Award.

“A sum like $50,000 can lever as much again in grants and project funding to help a project across the so-called ‘valley of death’ and turn a smart idea into a proven reality,” said AMDA Foundation CEO Justin Giddings.

“It can help a young innovator undertake a Masters or a Ph.D, to study overseas or undertake an internship focussed on mastering a new technology.”

Gilmour Space, Atomos Space enter MOU for in-space transportation and launch

Gilmour Space makes announcement at the sidelines of the Avalon Airshow

COLORADO, USA & GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – February 23, 2023 – Gilmour Space Technologies (“Gilmour”) and Atomos Space (“Atomos”) have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore a multi-year contract for Gilmour and Atomos to mutually purchase services for launch and in-space transportation.

The partnership will see Atomos contract Gilmour for launch services on its Eris and upcoming orbital launch vehicles. In addition, Atomos’ Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTVs) will provide in-space transportation services to customers and launch aggregation services of multiple customer spacecraft for launch on Gilmour vehicles.

While the barrier to entry for satellites to get to space is decreasing significantly, some applications require access into difficult-to-reach orbits. Atomos Space solves this problem by providing in-space transportation and orbit-raising services to satellites. Atomos has a unique approach where, unlike similar systems under development, their OTVs reside in space and rendezvous with client satellites on-orbit. This allows the full launch mass and volume to be reserved for the payload, reducing costs to the customer and allowing launch vehicles, such as Eris, to be used for a wider range of missions.

“This new agreement with Atomos is an exciting opportunity for Gilmour,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies. “We look forward to exploring the possibility of leveraging Atomos’s orbital transfer capabilities to expand our services and the flexibility of access to space to new markets and customers.”

“By leveraging the strengths of each of our companies, we anticipate being able to provide unparalleled services to customers in the space launch and transportation industry,” said Vanessa Clark, CEO of Atomos.


RAFAEL Defence Australia’s new Managing Director to Spike Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (RAFAEL) is pleased to welcome Mr Golan Ben Giat as Managing Director of Rafael Defence Australia, to steer RAFAEL’s expansion plans for Australia and New Zealand. This includes RAFAEL’s work with the ADF’s critical Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) enterprise, which will modernize the ADF’s defence capabilities through their SPIKE LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).

A highly accomplished and credentialled strategic executive within the global defence industry, Mr Ben Giat joins RAFAEL’s Australian business following three (3) years as Director of Business Development, Marketing and Strategy at RAFAEL’s Land and Naval Division.

A long time advocate and champion of Australia, and the tremendous potential of its defence and advanced manufacturing industries, Mr Ben Giat will be responsible for overseeing the Australian and New Zealand markets for the Land & Naval, Air Defence & Air Systems domains, as well as Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

Further, in a great mark of confidence in Australia’s defence industry, Mr Ben Giat will also prioritise the work of Varley Rafael Australia (VRA), a joint venture between Australia’s oldest defence enterprise The Varley Group and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. VRA was established in 2018 to deliver Advanced Defence Solutions, engineered, integrated, manufactured, supported and sustained in Australia by Australians. Based in the NSW Hunter region, the venture not only cements RAFAEL’s 30-year history of delivering GWEO for the ADF, but is furthermore working towards at least 70 new Australian jobs through the development and delivery of cutting-edge Australian-produced sovereign capabilities, including the SPIKE LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missile.

Prior to joining RAFAEL, Mr Ben Giat served as General Manager of NIP Nikuv International Projects Ltd, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing at Netline Israel Defence Industries, and General Manager for BSi – Blue Sky International (Asia). Mr Ben Giat has extensive experience with government agencies, leading military forces and private organisations, as well as negotiating a range of significant weapons and capabilities agreements across Asia, the Middle East, and the European Union.

Hitting the ground running, this week Mr Ben Giat will be leading the RAFAEL team exhibiting at the AVALON AIRSHOW, where RAFAEL will proudly present the following systems at their stand:  

In keeping with RAFAEL’s commitment to supporting current and former defence personnel, Mr Ben Giat has served with the Israeli Defense Force.

Having recently relocated from Israel with his young family, Mr Ben Giat is looking forward to maintaining his swimming training at Brighton and St Kilda beaches in Melbourne.

Saab Receives Orders for Defence Equipment

Saab has signed a framework agreement with a Government of a Western country and received orders within the agreement for a number of defence systems. The total order value is approximately SEK 8 billion with deliveries planned 2023–2026.

The orders include Saab’s Carl-Gustaf® multi-purpose shoulder launched weapon, the RBS 70 NG short-range air defence system and the Giraffe 1X radar. Due to the nature of the industry, circumstances concerning the customer and national security interests, no further information regarding these orders or the customer will be provided.

“We are proud to provide the world-leading capabilities of Saab’s product portfolio. With this order, we continue our commitment to keep people and society safe,” says Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson.

Australian SME and defence exporter C4i Pty Ltd was awarded a nationwide air defence communication contract in the Asia Pacific

Melbourne-based critical communications SME, C4i, has been awarded a nationwide voice communication control system (VCCS) contract. Following a successful initial system delivery on behalf of C4i, this contract will expand on what is already one of the largest systems in Asia Pacific.

C4i’s secure VCCS, the VOICE C2 system, offers unparalleled operational flexibility, allowing operators to control any radio – from anywhere – at any time; with the intuitive graphical user interface providing operational access to both local and remote systems, for quicker response times. The system will comprise numerous operating centres, remote radio sites, and remote air base sites, with controller working positions to interface to new and legacy radio systems, telephone systems and voice recording systems.

With several hundred controller working positions, working end-to-end, the C4i VCCS will represent one of the largest Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems in Asia Pacific and the world.

C4i, now a member of the Frequentis Group, has over two decades of experience and has built a strong, successful track record for working in close conjunction with in-country partners, with this project being no exception. C4i will be collaborating with a local partner for delivery, training, and support of the VCCS – the program involves C4i, the local partner, and the customer working together to ensure a seamless transition between the existing legacy systems and the new VCCS.

This strong working relationship will continue through to the certification of full operational capability and beyond into the ongoing support of the system throughout its lifecycle.

The C4i solution for this program is the latest-generation IP at the core VCCS solution available from the Frequentis Group.

“We are thrilled to receive this order, which is a testament to the hard work and success during the initial system delivery – this initial phase involved unique customisation, and a large amount of working positions, all delivered within nine months. Key to this success was the strength of the C4i VOICE C2 product, the experience of our team, and close collaboration of all stakeholders, which will continue in this next exciting project,” says Darren Gardner, Managing Director of C4i Pty Ltd.


CGI, RMIT and Swinburne University of Technology to enhance Australian space domain awareness

CGI the worldwide IT and business consulting services firm, has been awarded a SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project alongside domain experts from both Swinburne University of Technology and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), to develop a space domain awareness technology demonstrator. The demonstrator will explore the application of artificial intelligence and advanced data visualisation techniques to enhance space domain awareness (SDA) and related mission systems.

Space forms a vital part of Australia’s Critical National Infrastructure, with space-based services forming an integral part of the nation’s everyday life. The competition and congestion in Earth orbit, increasing threat from debris and the space environment, and behaviours and emerging capabilities of other countries and organisations all highlight the need for enhanced awareness of the space domain.

The SmartSat CRC project will build upon CGI’s global heritage in space domain awareness, working together with recognised domain and data analysis experts from RMIT and Swinburne to enhance Australia’s growing space industry capability in a priority area for defence and civil space. The output of the project will be used to enhance SDA operations in real time during Sprint Advanced Concept Training (SACT) exercises.

Tony Nicholls, Director of Space, Defence and Intelligence for CGI in Australia said: “This is an exciting opportunity; working with recognised experts at our partner universities to build on Australia’s SDA capability. The space domain has never been more vital to supporting economic growth, strengthening our geopolitical position and protecting our critical national infrastructure. Projects such as this firmly place Australia at the forefront of global innovation.”

Professor Andy Koronios, CEO of SmartSat CRC, said: “Only by bringing together the best of Australian research with industry can we realise the space sector’s growth opportunity. Through SmartSat Nodes, we aim to build the capability of businesses providing access to space and space-based services and help them validate prototype technologies and algorithms to make them commercial-ready.

Projects such as these plant the seeds of space technology innovation and will be instrumental in helping Australia build a viable space sector.  We look forward to what will likely be game-changing applications and technologies for the space sector.”

For more than 40 years, CGI has delivered complex, mission-critical space software systems for clients across Europe, Australia, Asia and North America including the development and deployment of the AURORA space domain awareness system for the UK Space Operations Centre.

Proven, Operationally Focused Team to Grow Australian Sovereign Industry Support to World’s Most Well-Known Military Airlifter

The Department of Defence announced its intent to “replace and expand” its fleet of C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters in November 2022. According to Defence, “the C-130J-30 represents the only option that meets all of Australia’s capability requirements and will be the only option that Defence will progress for Government approval under Project AIR 7404 Phase 1 in 2023.”

“Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand stand ready to support a potential decision by the Australian government to acquire a new and expanded fleet of C-130J aircraft,” said Warren McDonald, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive. “We are immensely proud of our very long-standing C-130 partnership with Australia. We welcome the opportunity to supply and sustain a larger fleet of the world’s most capable and proven battlefield airlifters.”

There are more than 520 C-130Js in worldwide service, with more than 2.5 million mission success hours, often in the most arduous operational environments facing Australia and the world.

The C-130J is the longest continuously deployed aircraft type in the more than 100-year history of the Royal Australian Air Force. From being first on the scene to deliver natural disaster support to operating in partnership with allies across the vast Indo-Pacific region, RAAF Super Hercules are ready to meet any mission requirement — no matter the location. If approved, RAAF crews would continue to rely on the new C-130J-30s to support its most critical missions, while also exploring new ways to use this unmatched airlifter in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.

Aligned with the potential acquisition of a new and expanded fleet of C-130Js, Lockheed Martin Australia is also fully committed to a long-term sustainment partnership for these new aircraft.

“The world’s most capable battlefield airlifter requires a proven sustainment solution to match,” McDonald said. “For almost 14 years, Lockheed Martin has teamed with Airbus Australia Pacific and alongside Standard Aero Limited, Rolls-Royce, Dowty, CAE and a broader industry team to provide unparalleled levels of operational support and customer satisfaction for the RAAF C-130J fleet.” Lockheed Martin Australia intends to continue its successful relationships with Airbus, Standard Aero Limited, Rolls-Royce, Dowty and CAE in the sustainment of the new and expanded C-130J fleet. This C-130J industrial team brings proven experience, performance and provides the opportunity to grow and expand sovereign industrial capability to support the new C-130J fleet.

“With more than 100 C-130Js now operating in the Indo-Pacific, we foresee significant opportunity to leverage Lockheed Martin’s direct connection with regional and global programs to establish Australia as a regional C-130 sustainment hub,” McDonald said. “Our collective Super Hercules expertise brings hundreds of long-term high-tech roles to Australian industry and deepens sovereign industry resilience, agility and responsiveness to RAAF C-130J capability needs.”

BAE Systems Australia introduces the RAZER low cost  precision guided munition

BAE Systems Australia is pleased to announce the design and development of a new sovereign munition concept – to be known as RAZERTM – positioning the company as a future supplier of low-cost precision-guided munitions to Australian and potential export customers.

RAZER is a low-cost air-launched precision-guided munition that is designed to transform a 40-50kg standard non-guided munition into a precision air-launched weapon at low cost.

The RAZER system consists of a wing/body kit and tail unit equipped with a powered GPS/INS guidance control and navigation system, aimed at operations from Uncrewed Combat Air Vehicles (UCAV) and Rotary Wing aircraft. This announcement follows the unveiling of the StrixUncrewed Aerial System (UAS) at Avalon 2023 leveraging more than three decades of company’ expertise in autonomous systems.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Ben Hudson said: 

“RAZER can meet urgent local and overseas demand for low cost sovereign munition solutions that could be deployed from the air. It could deliver a powerful and affordable battlefield strike capability for users globally.”

The ability to deploy RAZER from an airborne platform and glide to target would dramatically increase the weapon’s range and provide significant stand-off range for the launch platform.

Currently, there is significant gap between inexpensive, short-range, land-based weapons of this calibre and the expensive, long-range, air-launched weapon systems.

“RAZER addresses a clear gap in the market for sovereign guided weapons. It will enable our Australian Defence Force ease of access to world-class munitions right here in Australia,” Mr Hudson said.


BAE Systems Australia Managing Director, Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham said:

“The company was working with the Commonwealth of Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise on a number of levels, with RAZER adding to the company’s existing sovereign capability.

“Design, development and production of these munitions will utilise our decades-long history of advanced manufacturing to establish and grow the country’s domestic capability and export market.”

BAE Systems’ Battlespace Integrated Solutions team has developed RAZER as payload for UCAVs and helicopters and is moving through a development process that will see the munition become a sovereign capability delivered by its local manufacturing operations.

Project scope encompasses development, acquisition and testing of software, hardware, mechanical sub-systems and other system elements aspects of this system over coming months to enable effective operation in air and maritime environments. The market potential of the RAZER LCPGM is broad, spanning a multitude of users, including Australia, US, UK, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and others.

Airbus selects Blacktree Technology to provide ground segment for UHF military satcom services across Australasia

Airbus-funded UHF payload will serve allied armed forces including European and NATO countries  

Airbus Defence and Space has selected Blacktree Technology Pty Ltd of Perth, Australia, to provide the ground segment for the Airbus funded UHF military communications hosted payload onboard a commercial telecommunications satellite manufactured by Airbus.

The payload with 18 UHF channels will enable up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and large parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (to eastern Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (to western Australia).

Airbus Chief Representative, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Stephen Forshaw, said that the selection reinforced Airbus’ commitment to integrate Australian technology into the wider Airbus supply chain. “We’ve been excited to see how much technology is being developed by local companies to support the development of the Space industry in Australia and that they are winning selection to provide global solutions in Space,” he said.

Martin Rowse, Airbus Defence and Space Australia director said: “We have selected Blacktree as they offer a proven Australian solution that will support this critical satellite communications capability. The ground segment will be essential in ensuring our customers have access to vital UHF connectivity across the region and beyond.”

Blacktree Technology’s Managing Director, Joe Nevin, said: “ Blacktree Technology is proud to, once again, be selected to support Airbus with UHF ground segment capability. This builds on our strong heritage providing UHF solutions in Australia and across the globe.”

Airbus has been working with Blacktree for more than 15 years under the UK’s SKYNET 5 secure milsatcom programme and is partnering with them in Team Maier, as part of the bid to address Australia’s Joint Project (JP) 9102 to provide a complete Sovereign Defence Satellite Communications System. Team Maier members include technology and encryption specialists Blacktree Technology, Clearbox Systems, Canberra’s Penten, Sydney-based ground-control infrastructure specialist UGL, Surrey Satellite Technology and Indigenous and veteran-owned Willyama.

@AirbusSpace #SpaceMatters #MilSatCom #TeamMaier #JP9102



Lockheed Martin Australia outlines multi-million dollar investment to drive growth of Victoria’s space sector

Victorian Government confirms support for Lockheed Martin Australia’s JP9102 solution

Lockheed Martin Australia today announced its intent to work with the Victorian Government to establish Victoria as the engineering and technical hub for its proposed JP9102 solution. This investment would create over 200 advanced space industry jobs in Victoria.

Under its proposal, Lockheed Martin Australia would invest in infrastructure and programs in Victoria to support the delivery of a Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) solution for Defence.

Victoria’s Minister for Manufacturing Sovereignty, the Hon Ben Carroll MP, welcomed Lockheed Martin Australia’s JP9102 proposal, acknowledging its potential to accelerate the growth of the State’s space sector.

Mr Carroll today joined Lockheed Martin Australia representatives as they made their announcement at the Avalon 2023: Australian International Airshow.

Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald, commented on Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to Victoria and the relationship with the Victorian Government.

“We have a well-established presence in Victoria, including our STELaRLab HQ in Melbourne – Lockheed Martin’s first multi-disciplinary research and development laboratory outside of the United States,” he said.

“Through STELaRLab we are currently partnering with universities from across Australia in critical areas such as space-based image exploitation, automated AI-based knowledge generation using nuero-symbolic reasoning, and developing world-leading sovereign technologies for space domain awareness.”

“As a global industry leader in space, we share the Victorian Government’s vision for a vibrant, dynamic space sector and welcome the opportunity to work together for its realisation.”

“The proposed investments in infrastructure, skilled jobs and STEM initiatives are designed to contribute significantly to ensuring Victoria’s space economy grows sustainably for decades to come.”

Lockheed Martin Australia’s Regional Director for Space, David Ball, reiterated the importance of a resilient Victorian space industry capability.

“Lockheed Martin Australia is committed to delivering a sovereign, operationally superior MILSATCOM system that meets Australia’s strategic needs,” he said.

To help ensure the resiliency of those capabilities into the future, we will support Victoria’s industry and research communities in their collaboration and pursuit of leading edge space technologies,” he said. “By forging new space technologies and industries we will inspire future generations of Victorian students to consider exhilarating space careers.”

Lockheed Martin and Australian Companies Partner for F-35 Sustainment Support

Partnerships will reduce repair time and costs for Australian Defence Force and allies

Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand announced today partnerships with Marand, Survitec and TR Calibration to provide instrumentation, calibration and repair services for its aircraft ground support equipment as part of Lockheed Martin’s Product Support Provider network (PSPn).

“This in-country support will improve F-35 sustainment by eliminating costly and time-consuming shipping, reducing turnaround times and costs for Australia and its Indo-Pacific allies,” Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Warren McDonald said. “These contracts also provide industrial opportunities for Australian companies, which result in continued growth opportunities for Australia’s defence industrial base.”

PSPn is a collection of service providers selected to support specific repair areas and competencies. Together, they form a global network to improve sustainment efforts and mission readiness. Pricing agreements are for five-year performance periods.

“Our Product Support Provider network reduces repair turnaround times and increases reliability to ensure warfighters can respond to 21st Century Security threats,” said Rob Weitzman, director of the F-35 Australia Program at Lockheed Martin. “These contracts also reinforce our strong relationships with key Australian suppliers.”


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