Asension has been awarded a contract by the Australian Government to provide a space-based tactical sensor system for its armed forces.

Awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub, this contract has an estimated value of $2.99m (A$4.35m).

The innovation hub contract demonstrates the government’s efforts to partner with the defence industry to provide a capability edge to the nation’s defence forces.

The contract was signed during Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy’s visit to Asension’s headquarters in Adelaide on 19 August.

Conroy said: “The government’s partnership with innovative small businesses such as Asension will be critical to growing a robust, resilient and innovative industrial base for space technologies in Australia.

“Under this contract, Asension will continue the development of a sovereign, space-based tactical sensor system.

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“If successful, this technology will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) capability in the space domain through greater situational awareness and visibility.”

The latest contract comes after the successful maturation of Asension’s sensor technology.

In April 2020, the former Australian Government awarded a A$3.1m Defence Innovation Hub contract to Asension, formerly known as DEWC Systems, to develop a space-based tactical sensor technology.

Asension CEO Ian Spencer said: “The contract was an exciting opportunity for the small business to grow its workforce and to progress important space capability for Defence.

“This contract has been pivotal to the successful development of this capability to date and has enabled Asension to grow as a company.”

With the new investment, the company will continue the development of a tactical sensor to enhance the ADF’s capabilities.

Conroy added: “This investment will help build Australia’s sovereign space industry and skilled workforce.”