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EOS, Nova Systems form Australian missile joint venture

Australian companies Electro Optic Systems (EOS) and Nova Systems announced a partnership on 3 August to support the domestic production of missile systems.

The firms said their new joint venture (JV) – named Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA) – offers a way to meet domestic guided weapons and explosive ordnance (GWEO) requirements through an “Australian owned, operated and controlled sovereign strategic industry partner”.

These requirements were detailed in a request for information (RFI) issued by the government in July. This followed a government announcement in March that it planned to build guided weapons under an AUD1 billion (USD750 million) plan to establish a GWEO enterprise in co-operation with an industry partner.

A statement by EOS and Nova Systems said that their JV proposes to establish a common user facility in the country that would build, under licence, foreign-design missile systems, leveraging the two companies' collective supply chain of more than 600 local firms.

The statement said the facility, the proposed location of which was not disclosed, would remain “missile vendor neutral”. The JV “will not require the approvals or permissions of foreign partners to deliver Australia's current and emerging missile requirements”, it said.

Ben Greene, CEO of EOS, said the JV would build “the next generation of guided weapons optimised for Australian requirements with full sovereign ownership and control”. He added, “The common user facility will progressively move to produce these missiles.”

The recently issued RFI sought feedback from industry on commercial models for the proposed GWEO enterprise and also to shape the Australian Department of Defence's priorities.

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