Queensland rocket company Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) has tested a prototype missile launch pod as it forges ahead with building a sovereign Australian guided weapons capability. After testing rockets earlier in the year to start the process of integrating a guidance system, BSA Chief Executive Officer Blake Nikolic said it was time to start on the rest of the missile system.
“If we are serious about having a homegrown Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) capability, we can’t sit around and wait forever while everyone sees the threat scenarios growing,” Nikolic said. “We were inspired by the fighting spirit and innovation of the Ukrainian people, and realised we had to take our expertise and start building Australian Industry Capability for guided weapons” he said.
The BSA team conceived the idea for a light, portable and versatile missile after seeing the need in Ukraine and recognising how such a system could be employed creatively for national defence.
“The first-generation guided weapons launch pod we tested helped us refine and prove our concepts and allowed us to take another step toward an integrated system,” Nikolic said. “We are proud to be working with other Queensland companies to produce the guidance system and we expect to have the system at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 7 within months of receiving regulatory clearance to test fire the longer-range missiles.”
Black Sky Aerospace is Australia’s only sovereign manufacturer of solid rocket fuel, motors, launch vehicles, services and common tactical boosters. It manufactures solid rocket fuel, known as propellant, precursor chemicals and hardware for defence and space applications such as guided weapons, ancillary boosters, sounding rockets and off-earth rocket motors.