• An EOS RWS on top of a Bushmaster. Credit: Thales/EOS/Defence
    An EOS RWS on top of a Bushmaster. Credit: Thales/EOS/Defence
  • An EOS RWS. Credit: Thales/EOS
    An EOS RWS. Credit: Thales/EOS
  • An RWS round takes out a drone. Credit: EOS
    An RWS round takes out a drone. Credit: EOS

Building on the $600 million Remote Weapons Stations (RWS) contract of last year and the opening of their new Canberra production facility, EOS announced at their annual general meeting last month that they are on track for another strong year of growth.

EOS has received new orders for $12 million of remote weapon systems for delivery in 2018. These orders, from one existing customer and one new customer, will be met by scaling up production later 2018.

EOS has previously forecast 2018 production of remote weapon systems of 240 units at approximately 20 units/month. The production achieved for Q1 2018 was 40 units, as forecast, and a production rhythm of 20 units each month has also been achieved at the new plant.

“2018 is an exciting year of transformation for EOS,” Grant Sanderson, CEO of EOS’ defence business said to ADM. “Building on the outstanding work of the team over the past five years the company is expanding into a true Australian multinational entity, with $250 million in expected revenue per year in 2019.

“That project is just based on our current orders. Our ambition is to obviously continue to grow beyond that and there will be further announcements soon about our plans over the medium term.”

Building on their successful RWS business, the company is looking to provide a range of solutions in the SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) space, with a focus on anti-drone activities. This includes technology based around their existing missile capability with the Stinger launcher, the R-400S Mk2 currently in full-rate production that can lock airborne targets and deliver air-burst rounds to destroy UAS at ranges up to two kilometres, and a laser or directed energy system also deployed from the RWS. The US Army has supported development of this technology and EOS intends to grow this business with the opening of a new site in Huntsville Alabama to meet demand from that customer.

“EOS is confident that we will soon be the largest Australian Defence exporter and that we can use that position to expand our ability to support the future technical capability development of the ADF,” Sanderson said to ADM.

Improvements in materials and technology now allow EOS to produce a RWS which can mount all small arms and crew-served weapons at lower cost and weight than previously possible. This includes most 5.56mm, 7.62mm and 12.7 mm weapons. The new RWS was partially developed using Australian Department of Defence funds under the Priority Industry Capability framework, and will be qualified for production later in 2018, with fielding in 2019.

The RWS is designated R-150 and provides significant cost and weight savings over all prior generations of RWS for small arms. There is a substantial market emerging for the replacement or upgrade of RWS for these applications.

An RWS round takes out a drone. Credit: EOS
An RWS round takes out a drone. Credit: EOS

The space side of the business is also making gains with the $35 million centre at Stromlo in the ACT up and running along with the $30 million centre at Learmonth, which is also now operational. The company has invested heavily in this side of the business, acknowledging that it won’t be profitable until next year at the earliest.

An agreement signed with Lockheed Martin in 2015 sees the company working on space situational awareness (SSA) in terms of debris tracking. As ADM has previously reported, the EOS space network is privately owned and operated, but SSA operations are dual-use and preservation of the space environment requires both military and commercial satellites are protected.

For reasons associated with managing the balance in a dual-use environment, EOS has agreed in principle to locate many of its global sensors within defence bases or facilities. A single site may host multiple sensors.

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