Queensland’s Black Sky Aerospace announced that it has tested a locally developed missile launch pod — inspired by the recent conflict in Ukraine — to help build a sovereign missile capability.
The company is one of the few businesses in Australia producing solid rocket motors, tactical boosters, common use boosters and solid rocket fuel. They also provide access to various launch sites and engage in the construction of launch vehicles.
Earlier this year, the company was granted $500,000 in funding from the Commonwealth government as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre managed commercialisation fund.
Blake Nikolic, chief executive officer of Black Sky Aerospace, explained that the company had tested rockets earlier in the year to begin integrating a guidance system in the hope of developing a sovereign guided weapon capability.
According to Nikolic, the company is now ready to begin construction of the missile system.
“If we are serious about having a homegrown Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) capability, we can’t sit around and wait forever while everyone sees the threat scenarios growing,” he said.
“We were inspired by the fighting spirit and innovation of the Ukrainian people, and realised we had to take our expertise and start building Australian Industry Capability for guided weapons.”
Black Sky was driven to develop the systems having analysed the Ukrainian battlefield, observing the need for a “light, portable and versatile missile”.
“The first-generation guided weapons launch pod we tested helped us refine and prove our concepts and allowed us to take another step toward an integrated system,” Nikolic continued.
“We are proud to be working with other Queensland companies to produce the guidance system and we expect to have the system at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 7 within months of receiving regulatory clearance to test fire the longer-range missiles.”
The company remains the only Australian developer of solid rocket fuel, motors, common tactical boosters and launch vehicles for both space and defence requirements.
Liam McAneny is a journalist who has written and edited for his University International Relations journal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong in 2021. He joined Momentum Media in 2022 and currently writes for SpaceConnect and Australian Aviation. Liam has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations as well as astronomy.
Send Liam an email at: [email protected]
Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.