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Business Bulletin, 19 July 2021

By Leo D’Angelo Fisher

Top stories:

  • Thales named Microsoft defence and intelligence partner of the year

  • Ten businesses share in $20 million innovation contracts

  • Big hopes for ‘small purchase’ of drone sensors

Thales named Microsoft defence and intelligence partner of the year

Thales has won the Defence and Intelligence 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for its Nexium Defence Cloud Edge (NDC Edge) system.

The annual awards recognise Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based solutions during the past year.

Thales was recognised for providing “outstanding solutions and services in defence and intelligence”.

Developed for the Australian Defence Force, NDC Edge is built on Microsoft Azure Stack technology and is designed to be compatible with Five Eyes nations as well as humanitarian aid and civilian applications.

The theatre-level NDC Edge enables the analysis and distribution of data in real time, accelerating the decision-making cycle to gain and maintain operational tempo.

NDC Edge’s secure tactical Defence Cloud offers various possible configurations, from high-capacity and easily scalable infrastructure to all-in-one containerised systems that can establish a headquarters as a cloud node rapidly and link it to deployed forces quickly and securely.

This capability enables deployed forces to securely share critical information across domains, multinational coalitions and other agencies to allow a shared common operating picture.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins says the award “validates the collaborative efforts of both the local and global Thales and Microsoft teams”.

“This collaboration has produced a sovereign, customer-focused solution that draws from the very best of the world-leading capabilities from across both organisations,” Mr Jenkins says.


Ten businesses share in $20 million innovation contracts

Ten new contracts have been awarded to businesses under the federal government’s Defence Innovation Hub program.

The contracts will enable the companies to continue developing promising technologies in support of Army and Navy capabilities.

The contracts, worth almost $20 million, were awarded to:

RingIR, Melbourne, $3.9 million, to develop a portable device capable of promptly identifying dangerous chemicals and explosives.

Anywise Consulting, Melbourne, $3.1 million, to continue to develop an integrated software and device system to monitor the wear and tear of bridges in deployed environments.

Mission Systems Australia, Fremantle WA, $2.7 million, to develop a networked underwater acoustic sensor.

Mincham, formerly Mincham Aviation, Adelaide, $2.2 million, to continue to develop a tube-launched aerial delivery system for rapid and accurate payload delivery in maritime environments.

TAE Aerospace, Bundamba, Queensland, $2.2 million, to develop a single-stage engine filter for the existing fleet of Abrams tanks for improved performance and efficiency.

Marathon Targets, Sydney, $1.6 million, to continue to develop an unmanned, realistic and self-propelled vehicle target to support Australian Defence Force training.

Mediaware International, Canberra, $1.6 million, to develop an information processing system that integrates data to present a single visualisation for accelerated decision making.

Sentient Vision Systems, Melbourne, $1.3 million, to develop an enhanced visual detection system for use in reduced visibility conditions to detect and classify objects of interest.

BAE Systems Australia, Adelaide, $1.1 million, to develop a software-based decision-support system to extract tactically useful information from maritime environments and facilitate accelerated decision making.

DefendTex, Melbourne, $263,000, to develop a gas to disable a combustion engine, removing the need for explosives or tank traps.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at:


Big hopes for ‘small purchase’ of drone sensors

ASX-listed DroneShield has sold a quantity of its RfOne MKII long-range sensors to the Australian Army. The “small purchase of equipment” will allow the Army to assess its future counter-drone requirements and future capability options.

In a statement to the stock exchange the Sydney-based company says the deployment of the long-range sensors will “highlight the flexibility, resilience and capabilities of DroneShield equipment in a dynamic field environment”.

DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik explains that while the size of the sale is “financially immaterial” it is considered to be material from a growth perspective as it is expected to lead to larger procurements.

“As an Australian company, DroneShield is immensely proud to support the Australian Army with its long-range counter-drone strategy,” Mr Vornik says.

DroneShield specialises in Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS), electronic warfare, RF sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, sensor fusion and military-specification (MIL-SPEC) manufacturing.


Leo D'Angelo Fisher is a regular columnist and Editor-at-Large at Australian Veteran News. Connect with him on Twitter: @DAngeloFisher.

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