Australia’s largest space company, Gilmour Space Technologies, has been selected to develop and launch a new sovereign surveillance satellite for the Department of Defence, as part of the government’s $7 billion investment in new space capabilities.

Australia’s Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, announced the $15 million partnership with Gilmour Space, highlighting the government’s commitment to developing sovereign space capabilities.

In a statement, he said: “In line with our recently released Defence Space Strategy, Defence is closely engaged with the Australian Space Agency and Australian industry to develop and supply sovereign space surveillance and mission system capabilities,” he said

“I am proud to announce this $15 million investment in new military space capabilities to counter threats and assure our continued access to space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

The news was welcomed by Gilmour Space CEO, Adam Gilmour. “This is a big milestone for an Australian-owned company that’s working hard to develop sovereign space and launch capabilities for our Civil, Commercial and Defence customers globally,” he said.

“Under the deal, Gilmour Space will be developing a prototype G-class satellite for Defence and launching it on our Eris rocket from an Australian launch site in 2023. We firmly believe that partnerships like this will help to grow future Space and Defence primes in Australia and lead to more capability for Defence in the years ahead.”

Space jobs boost in QLD

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, and Member for Fadden, Stuart Robert MP, added that Gilmour Space was a Queensland and Australian success story.

Since starting its rocket program in 2015, the Minister said: “Gilmour Space Technologies has grown from strength-to-strength to become Australia’s largest space company with 140 employees – and they have job opportunities available right now.

“This company launched Australia’s first privately developed hybrid rocket using 3D printed rocket fuel, and they are offering people with a wide background of skills in manufacturing, engineering and support roles the opportunity to launch their own career in space right here on the Gold Coast.”

About Glimour Space Technologies

Gilmour Space Technologies is an Australian launch services provider based in Queensland, Australia. Since starting its rocket program in 2015, Gilmour Space has grown to become Australia’s largest space company with over 140 employees on the Gold Coast. The venture-backed company is developing a small satellite launch vehicle (Eris, powered by hybrid propulsion technologies), and a new G-class satellite bus (G-Sat), which will launch from an Australian launch site in late 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

Gilmour Space investors include venture capital firms Blackbird and Main Sequence in Australia; Fine Structure Ventures, Ridgeline Partners, and 500 Global in the US and Asia; Queensland Investment Corporation; as well as Australian superannuation funds HESTA, Hostplus and NGS Super.