The Australian Defence Force is planning to significantly increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its inventory and bring local industry into the fold in the development of an amphibious platform that can operate with substantial endurance over littoral waters and inland.
Amongst the current inventory are Textron Systems' Shadow and Heron UAVs, as well as AeroVironment's Wasp micro aircraft and Prox Dynamics' Black Hornet UAV - although the latter two have been purchased in smaller numbers as part of an evaluation process, as has Schiebel's S100 rotary-wing platform. The defence forces' programme office responsible for UAVs has stated that there are plans to provide a Black Hornet system to each army section and that it is confident that the price would be reduced as more units are ordered.
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