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Australian-made missile launched in Queensland

Australian space launcher manufacturer Black Sky Aerospace has achieved a major milestone with initial integration of guidance and control on a sovereign Australian missile launched in Queensland. Black Sky Aerospace CEO, Blake Nikolic, said Black Sky has teamed up with other local Queensland companies, including Crystalaid, to develop a next generation missile system and ensure the technology partners are all focused on developing sovereign capability for Australia’s soon-to-be-announced Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise.

“As the only Australian sovereign commercial manufacturer of solid rocket propulsion for use in guided weapons, it’s natural for us to team up with other Australian companies involved in advanced manufacturing of defence technology,” Mr Nikolic said.

“The rocket we just fired is comparable in size to a Javelin Surface-to-Air missile, and our partners are bringing the components that will ensure it can be steered onto a target and deliver the desired effects,” he said. “Due to the sensitive nature of the activity, we can’t share specific performance details.” The company also did not disclose the location of the test flight.

“We are seeing in the Ukraine right now just how devastating and effective these weapons can be on an invading force; we want to make sure Australia has its own sources of missiles and is not solely reliant on foreign suppliers.”

Crystalaid Chairman, Ross McKinnon, said this launch demonstrates a local advanced manufacturing capability that has traditionally been sourced from overseas.

“Many people would not know that the sophisticated electronics packages needed for guided weapons can all be made here in Australia,” he said. “While industry waits for Defence’s decision on how to achieve a GWEO enterprise, it’s important that Australian industry demonstrates a current level of capability and capacity. We need to ensure that the implementation of GWEO grows the Australian Defence Industry capacity and by partnering with international and local partners, fill any capability gaps. This is achieved by utilising locally manufactured components to create new highly skilled Australian jobs.”

The collaborative teaming partners believe the development of Australian industry missile capability could accelerate the implementation of the AUKUS agreement.

“We believe that cross-industry collaboration is essential.” Mr Nikolic said. “We celebrate the creation of the groups working together on GWEO, and we understand it is essential that Australian industry works together, and with companies such as those from our AUKUS allies and other partners.”

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