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New technologies to ensure long term air capabilities.

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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Tuesday, 10 March 2009 032/2009


Minister for Defence Science and Personnel the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, has told the Asia-Pacific’s peak aerospace congress that Australia is investing in new and emerging technologies to secure the future of the country’s aerospace capabilities.

Opening the 13th Australian International Aerospace Congress in Melbourne today, Mr Snowdon said by 2020 Australia can expect to have a new frontline Air Force fleet designed to ensure the country’s regional air superiority for many years to come.

Defence is due to introduce Super Hornet fighters, Wedgetail early warning aircraft, Tiger reconnaissance helicopters, multi-role helicopters and airborne refuellers. It is also investigating the replacement of the AP-3C Orion aircraft for maritime surveillance and patrol, and participating in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

“The acquisition of new assets and renewal of current fleets represent multi-billion dollar investments in new aerospace capabilities,” Mr Snowdon said.

The congress theme focuses on new frontiers in aerospace.

Mr Snowdon said technology was changing the nature of air combat with highly networked, integrated airborne and ground support systems set to dominate the warfighting role in the future.

“Australia must keep pace with technology developments which can affect our aerospace capabilities,” Mr Snowdon said.

“Unmanned systems, hypersonics, computing power, communications and networking, sensors and data fusion, and new materials are all impacting on our capabilities.”

Mr Snowdon said the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) was spearheading research into new and emerging technologies for future aerospace applications.

“We’re leading the world in hypersonics research, upgrading our JORN radar network and making innovative advances in the application of miniaturised, low cost unmanned aerial systems.

“We’re also researching new space-based systems to support the activities of Australian Defence Force (ADF) ground forces.

“The government will continue to support such science and technology programs that underpin the ADF’s capability edge now and in the future.”

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664