australian aviation logo

Defence calls for sovereign unmanned aerial system

written by Robert Dougherty | August 10, 2023

Drone operator, Leading Aircraftman Sam Payda from No. 2 Security Forces Squadron, with a R70 Skyranger drone at the 2022 Air Force Drone Racing Tournament Exhibition day at RAAF Base Amberley. (Image: Defence)

The Australian Department of Defence has called on the defence industry to submit their best designs for an affordable and expendable general-purpose uncrewed aerial system (UAS).

call to action was announced for the sovereign UAS product crucial to national defence during discussions at the 2023 ADM Defence and Industry Research Symposium hosted by the University of South Australia on 8 August.

Discussions detailed that the sovereign UAS product would be initially used for basic training and observation capabilities, before being expanded for more advanced payloads.

A Department of Defence tender has also been released on 31 July seeking information to support an Australian sovereign uncrewed aerial system and trusted autonomy industrial capability.

It also requests small, general-purpose systems produced at great scale without security limitations and supply chain vulnerability of current commercial suppliers.


“Defence seeks to support an Australian sovereign UAS and trusted autonomy industrial capability, in particular for small, general-purpose systems that can be produced at greater scale, to service a wide range of applications,” a Department of Defence statement said.

“These systems should support flexibility and interoperability through open architecture to enable future development of innovative applications.

“Responses to the RFI will inform Defence’s approach to developing this capability, which is expected to include Defence-industry workshops and collaborative development.”

It’s understood single-operator control of multiple robotic or autonomous systems is of specific interest for the system.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.