Defence has officially opened a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Australian Hypersonics Research Precinct at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.
CAPTION: At the official opening of the Australian Hypersonic Research Precinct (left to right) are Air Vice Marshall Robert Denney, Former Chief Weapons and Combat Systems Dr Shane Canney, Chief of Defence Force General Angus Campbell, Defence Minister Peter Dutton, Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro and Defence Scientist Hans Alesi. Photo by Leading Aircraft Woman Kate Czerny.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton unveiled the $14 million precinct which provides a location for Defence, industry, universities and international partners to advance their understanding and use of hypersonic technology through flight-test vehicles.
“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 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.”
The Australian Hypersonics Research Precinct 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.
Thales Australia welcomed the announcement “of a major boost to the development of Australia’s sovereign hypersonic weapons capability”.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the ability of Australian industry 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,” Mr Jenkins 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.”