31 Juli 2017
Wasp-AE Mini-UAVs (photo : Aus DoD)
XTEK has on July 25th. formally signed the previously detailed contract to supply small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Under the agreement, XTEK is the prime contractor and will deliver a range of products worth circa A$42 million to the ADF over three years, commencing 1 July 2018.
AeroVironment, Inc. participated in the signing ceremony in Canberra for the formal execution of contracts (first announced June 1, 2017) to deliver Wasp® AE unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) over a three-year period commencing July 1, 2018.
AeroVironment is working closely with Australian partners XTEK, General Dynamics Mediaware and Sentient Vision to provide Wasp AE, a proven capability in service with militaries around the world, which will then be modified with Australian content to meet both ADF and Australia industry needs. XTEK and AeroVironment will provide local maintenance, training and field support to serve the immediate needs of ADF while expanding AeroVironment’s global support capabilities.
“This contract to supply Wasp AE small UAV systems to support the Australian Defence Force is the result of 10 years of work with XTEK and the Commonwealth, including thorough operational testing, bringing small UAS compatible with the US operations to Australia, and adding capabilities from Australian companies,” said David Sharpin, vice-president of AeroVironment’s Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) business unit. “This collaboration reflects the unwavering commitment of all four companies and the ADF to support and protect the dedicated members of the Australian armed forces with the best UAS capabilities available in the world today – to help them proceed with certainty and ensure successful missions.”
XTEK will act as the supplier of the WASP AE for AeroVironment. Philippe Odouard, managing director, commented
“This is a very important day for the Australian Defence as XTEK and AeroVironment will deliver the WASP AE SUAS capability to all the relevant units in the Army.
“It also offers a number of Australian designed and supplied items bringing a higher level of information gathering to the warfighter.”
Maintenance contract expected
The A$42 million estimated contract value excludes maintenance costs.
An SUAS maintenance contract will be signed later to provide a local Australian maintenance and support capability to the ADF.