Qld rocket company awarded $15m spy satellite contract

Gold Coast company Gilmour Space Technologies been awarded a $15 million contract to develop and launch a new surveillance satellite as part of the government’s move to boost sovereign space capabilities.

Adam GIlmour and Peter Dutton (centre) at the announcement of the surveillance satellite partnership.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Defence is engaging closely with Australian industry to develop and supply sovereign space surveillance and mission system capabilities as part of its recently released Defence Space Strategy.

He says the government hopes to launch a satellite prototype in conjunction with Gilmour Space by mid-2023.

“I am proud to announce this $15 million investment in new military space capabilities to counter threats and assure our continued access to space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” the minister said in a statement.

Gilmour Space began as a start-up in 2009 and went on to launch Australia’s first privately developed hybrid rocket.

As reported by Government News, Defence established a partnership with the company in 2020 to jointly develop defence-related space technologies, including rocket motor-system components.

“Since that time, we have been testing materials and propulsion technologies – all with a view to developing a hybrid rocket to launch payloads and small satellites,” Mr Dutton said.

Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour described the partnership as a major milestone.

“This is a big milestone for an Australian-owned company that’s working hard to develop sovereign space and launch capabilities for our Civil, Commercial and Defence customers,” he said in a statement.

“Under this deal, Gilmour Space will be developing a G-class satellite for Defence and launching it on our Eris rocket from an Australian launch site.

“We firmly believe that partnerships like this will help to grow future Space and Defence primes in Australia and lead to more capability for Defence in the years ahead.”

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