The government has awarded Victoria-based DMTC Limited a $3 million contract and QinetiQ a $5.4 million contract
The DMTC contract is to develop technology that could improve the protective equipment used by the ADF, and the QinetiQ contract is to develop an innovative, deployable micro-grid that will help address an increase in the demand for power in the modern battlefield.
DMTC Limited will use its funding, awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub, to explore the application of the ground-breaking textile technology within the ADF.
Building on years of underpinning research led by Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), the project is advancing the technology behind the development of Nano Protective Adsorbent Composite (NPAC) fabrics, and expects to produce prototype suits for further testing, demonstration and trials by Defence.
DMTC has brought together a diverse and multidisciplinary team to work on this complex challenge. Partners include DSTG, RMIT University, industry partners Bruck Textiles and NanoLayr (formerly Revolution Fibres) and CSIRO.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the technology could prove to be an important development in protective equipment used by the ADF and for civilian applications.
“DMTC will use innovative textile technology to develop a light-weight prototype chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective suit,” Minister Price said. “This suit has the potential to reduce heat exhaustion and fatigue during very arduous activities.
“Innovations that will protect our ADF against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents, demonstrate the ingenuity of Australian industry and the positive impact of partnering with Defence to build sovereign industry capability.”
Using advanced energy management algorithms, QinetiQ’s technology will offer a power efficient, responsive and deployable micro-grid that will help ensure the ADF has access to power on the battlefield.
“This technology... has the potential to provide a globally deployable power solution, with applications beyond Defence,” Minister Price said. “The Government recognises the ingenuity within Australia’s innovation sector and is delighted to partner with organisations that can bring these ideas into reality.”
Senator for Victoria James Paterson said this was an important investment to help build Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.
“Australia is at the centre of a dynamic and changing region characterised by rising powers, strategic competition and military modernisation,” Senator Paterson said.
“This investment will deliver advanced and integrated solutions to emerging threats and challenges in our region, including the ‘grey-zone’ tactics of espionage, cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns.”