The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is to be equipped with a new cutting-edge, night-fighting capability costing the Aussie taxpayer $173-million over the next decade.
More than 5,500 helmet-mounted fused night vision systems will be delivered to the armed forces, combining image intensification (commonly known as night vision) with thermal imaging to improve visibility and target detection in low- or no-light situations.
Will provide greater survivability
“The new fused night vision systems will provide greater survivability to our ADF personnel through increased situational awareness and the ability to detect movement at greater distances,” the Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, said.
“The fused night-vision system will also allow augmented reality enhancements, including location and navigation data in the heads-up display.”
Reynolds said the equipment would help to ensure that Australian soldiers are better equipped to fight and win in all conditions.
Contract to be rolled out by 2023
Missions Systems Australia has been awarded the contract to deliver the capability, which is expected to be rolled out by 2023. It is an Australian subsidiary company with 150 employees nationally, and maintenance and distribution facilities around the country.
Meanwhile, 25 retrenched Jetstar Airways workers have been recruited to start a new career in the defence industry as part of the RAAF F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
The former Jetstar employees have commenced their training with BAE Systems Australia to sustain Australia’s growing fleet of F-35A Lightning II and Hawk Lead in Fighter aircraft.
Retrenched tradies support RAAF
Following their training, 21 aviation technicians and logisticians will support No 81 Wing in the ongoing maintenance of the F-35A fleet at RAAF Base Williamtown. Four technicians and logisticians will work on the Hawk at BAE’s facility.
Reynolds said this was a great outcome for the workers, who were recently made redundant following Jetstar’s closure of its aircraft maintenance facility near Newcastle in NSW.
“These are workers already extremely well-armed with great skills and experience and it’s fantastic that the defence industry sector has been able to recruit their expertise,” the minister stated.