Long time ADF weapons and security solutions supplier XTEK has secured the contract to provide and support Army's small UAS (SUAS) capability under Project Land 129 Phase 4.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said the capability would be acquired in two tranches; with the WASP AE chosen as the preferred option for the first tranche to meet an immediate need.
Funding for the first tranche amounts to $101 million.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the WASP AE will be modified with Australian content utilising other companies such as Sentient in Melbourne and Mediaware in Canberra.
The WASP AE is a product of US firm Aerovironment and is used by other militaries around the world, including with the US Marine Corps.
Minister Pyne said local industry content is valued at approximately $11 million for acquisition, plus up to $4 million each year for sustainment and the majority of maintenance and support will be carried out in Australia by XTEK.
The second tranche will upgrade the WASP AE or acquire a replacement system within the next decade.
"This will also provide opportunities for Australian industry," Minister Pyne said.
ADM interviewed XTEK managing director Philippe Odouard in our forthcoming June issue. For video of the system click here.