The Australian Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology has signed a strategic agreement with Gold Coast company Gilmour Space Technologies to work on space technologies.

Under the partnership, Defence Science and Technology and Gilmour Space will research propulsion, materials and avionics technologies among other defence-related technologies to aid in the development of the three-stage hybrid rocket.

The rocket will launch small payloads and satellites.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “Technology advances have allowed rocket systems and launch service providers to offer access to space at a greatly reduced cost and infrastructure footprint.”

Reynolds further added that the collaboration demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting the Australian defence industry.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price added that this will open opportunities for Australian companies to offer space capabilities to defence force of the country and commercial customers.

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Price said: “Recent advancements in the capabilities of micro and nano-satellites, small satellite constellations and additive manufacturing present a unique opportunity for Defence and Australian industry.”

Member for Fadden Stuart Robert said: “Gilmour Space Technologies hopes to leverage their work with Defence to undertake more onshore manufacturing of rocket systems and components which, with further investment, could create up to 50 additional jobs by the end of the year.”

Gilmour Space is currently developing lower-cost rockets that will be used to launch small satellites into low earth orbits.

In December last year, Australian Department of Defence awarded A$170m ($116.08m) contract to Boeing Defence Australia for air battlespace management capability system.

It also awarded a contract to Inovor Technologies to provide a satellite bus for the Buccaneer space research programme.