Controversial drone deal approved by Peter Dutton being ‘carefully’ examined & More Latest News

A controversial determination by former defence minister Peter Dutton to approve a billion-dollar buy of reconnaissance drones additionally used by Russia and China will likely be “carefully” reviewed by the Albanese authorities, which has flagged it might ultimately be scrapped. 

Schiebel, the Austrian firm chosen for the sole-source contract, has additionally been accused by human rights teams of supplying its unmanned aerial automobiles (UAVs) to Myanmar in an obvious breach of EU sanctions.

Australia’s navy already makes use of the S-100 Camcopter expertise, with the most recent order for a Maritime Tactical Unmanned Air System to offer “intelligence, reconnaissance and targeting” on Navy’s Arafura-class offshore patrol boats and Anzac-class frigates.

The unarmed Austrian helicopter drones had been hand-picked by the Morrison authorities for Project SEA129 Phase 5, simply days earlier than the caretaker interval for this yr’s election, and after it ditched a aggressive analysis course of that included rival American and British bids.

US defence big Raytheon has been appointed because the “system integrator” for Project SEA129 Phase 5, with Defence insisting the S-100 Camcopter system is in use internationally.

“Defence has robust processes to ensure any platforms introduced into service do not create vulnerabilities,” a Defence division spokesperson informed the ABC.

“In the case of the S-100, working with Raytheon Australia as the Prime System Integrator, all relevant systems would be scrutinised and approved to ensure the appropriate level of protection is in place.”

Details of the Defence Department’s deal with Schiebel and Raytheon are tightly held, however the complete contract is believed to be valued at greater than $1 billion {dollars}.

In latest years the S-100 Camcopters have been bought by China’s navy to be used on the PLA-Navy’s guided missile destroyers, and have been beneath licence by Russia for civilian use.


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