The Australian defense ministry has contracted Boeing’s Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd for the local production and delivery of 24 new unmanned aerial surveillance systems (UAS).
Manufactured in Brisbane, the systems will be delivered to the Australian Army as part of a A$650 million investment.
The army will use them to gather intelligence, undertake reconnaissance and surveillance missions, and acquire targets for weapons systems across the Australian defense force.
“This project will enhance the Australian Army’s capabilities by harnessing the innovation and cutting-edge technologies being developed right here in Australia,” Australian defense minister Peter Dutton said.
“Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd will manufacture the new platform at their facility in Brisbane and integrate components provided by suppliers from around Queensland and across Australia.
“To support the delivery of this capability, the Morrison government will also invest $56million in facilities at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera.
“We will also see an upgrade to a number of our Bushmasters, and associated sustainment over the next decade.”
The acquisition and initial contract period with Insitu Pacific Limited is worth $307 million alone, and Member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans, said the investment would see local advanced manufacturing jobs grow in Brisbane and across Queensland.
“This contract is supporting 130 new and existing jobs here in Brisbane and across Australia,” Evans said.
“People may not have always associated Brisbane with defence industry in the past, but projects like this demonstrate the real opportunities advanced manufacturing can offer now and into the future.”
Production has already started, according to the defense ministry, with delivery expected in 2023 and 2024.