The Australian Department of Defence has opened a new, purpose built Australian Hypersonics Research Precinct at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.
The $14 million Precinct provides a location for Defence, industry, universities and international partners to advance Australia’s understanding and use of hypersonic technology through flight test vehicles. The centre accommodates more than 60 staff and provides collaborative space for industry, academia and government teams to advance defence projects with a focus on high-speed and hypersonic flight research and technologies.
“It’s a complex technological challenge to build vehicles capable of flying at five times the speed of sound, that skim the stratosphere, to target any location on the planet,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.
“The technology that is developed here will help us to better defend against the malign use of this technology and give us the ability to strike any potential adversaries from a distance and deter aggression against Australia’s national interests.
“It enables Defence researchers to develop and characterise sovereign hypersonic technologies and generate ‘true’ hypersonic flight conditions at large scale in a classified laboratory.”
One of Australia’s biggest defence companies, Thales Australia, has welcomed the new precinct, which will accelerate collaboration between Defence, industry, universities and international partners. Thales Australia has established its own Collaborative Research and Development Program delivering Advanced Rocket Motor Technology. This is designed to support the establishment of Australia’s sovereign missile enterprise – Thales is the only company in Australia that manufactures rocket motors, casings and propellant.
CEO of Thales Australia, Chris Jenkins, said Australian industry ‘s ability to be innovative and adaptive would be critical to the delivery of the government’s ambition.
“Thales is proud to work with are range of SMEs including Southern Launch, Airspeed, Mincham and Mackay Defence, who will deliver specialised technology for the complex program including tooling and precision engineering, specialised polymeric insulation products, composite cases, as well as design and launch services,” he said.
“We look forward to the expansion of the defence ecosystem at Eagle Farm, where Thales currently has around 150 highly skilled and experienced staff supporting ADF programs.”