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BAE Systems Australia to increase investment in hypersonic weapons development

Following the Australian government’s commitment in 2020 to advance the development of long-range strike capabilities, BAE Systems Australia announced on 30 March that it will increase investments in the country in support of the “rapid development of a sovereign high-speed weapons capability”.

The company said in a statement that after having invested more than AUD11 million (USD8.4 million) in hypersonics and high-speed weapon research in Australia over the past decade – in collaborative programmes with Defence, industry, and academia – it will spend AUD5 million this year on fast-tracking technology development, with additional investments planned for the next four years as part of ‘Project Javelin’.

It also said that it will also draw on the capabilities and expertise across Australian industry and academia to build “an Australian high-speed weapons eco-system, with the aim of demonstrating a sovereign capability over the next four years”.

BAE Systems noted that ‘Project Javelin’, which was launched after recognising the Australian Defence Force’s requirement for such capabilities, complements the company’s existing industrial capabilities in manufacturing and prototyping, battlespace management systems, and flight vehicle platform technologies, adding that it also builds on more than three decades of research in the design and development of Australian weapons, as well as autonomous and hypersonic technologies.

The latest developments come after Canberra announced in its 2020 Force Structure Plan, which was released on 1 July 2020, that it would invest in unspecified high-speed missile and long-range weapon systems, remotely-piloted and/or autonomous combat aircraft, including air-teaming vehicles, as well as the research and development of high-speed missile defence, including hypersonic weapons.

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