Statement of strategic intent a boost to Aussie space sector

Statement of strategic intent a boost to Aussie space sector

Max Blenkin

Canberra defence and security company XTEK, which specialises in advanced lightweight composite materials, has signed a statement of strategic intent and co-operation with the Australian Space Agency.

Composite materials are ideal for many space applications and the agreement aims to strengthen the capability and competitiveness of Australia’s space industry.

XTEK managing director Philippe Odouard welcomed this move and plans to continue discussions on building Australia’s strategic capability in design and development of space systems and space hardware components.

"XTEK has in-depth process engineering knowledge, product development and prototyping capabilities which enable it to provide the necessary design, build and testing support to Australia’s space sector," he said.

"These unique capabilities provide a substantial edge, which can strengthen Australia’s position in contributing to international programs."

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Australian Space Agency head Dr Megan Clark said the Australian space industry was a vibrant and evolving sector and the agency was committed to tripling the Australian space economy.

"This statement of intent will assist in the development of space-related industries as the Australian Space Agency aims to grow the local space sector from $3.9 billion to $12 billion over the next 10 years, and create up to 20,000 new space jobs," she said.

 

XTEK, which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2005, emerged after the 1978 Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing to supply security equipment to defence and police.

That’s grown to include tactical and unmanned systems, small arms and ballistic protection using advanced composite materials.

XTEK has a suite of unique and patented technologies, including the XTclave that offer unique solutions for space applications. The company has developed and and continue to grow, design and test capabilities in Australia.

For the space sector, XTEK is developing new satellite structures, launcher platform hardware and deployment systems to virtually validate and model for the complex load cases and requirements of launch and the harsh environment of space.

Last month, XTEK signed a memorandum of understanding with space company Skykraft to jointly develop a range of new small spacecraft and launcher systems.

XTEK plans to employ 45 new engineers, technicians and machinists over the next three to five years to boost capability in the space sector.

XTEK said the statement of strategic intent and co-operation represents a formal relationship with the Australian space industry, validating the broader application of the novel XTclave technology.

"It also provides us access to a potential significant market in which we can continue developing and commercialising our advanced composite solutions. We look forward to supporting the agency’s purpose to grow and transform a globally respected space industry," Odouard said.

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