Australia’s Orbital UAV signs multi-fuel UAV engine development MoU with Singaporean defence company

Perth-based Orbital Corporation Ltd has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with “one of Singapore’s largest defence companies” for the design, development and initial low rate production of multi-fuel engines for unmanned air vehicles.

According to its news release Orbital UAV says that the scope of the MOU includes three phases of work. Phase 1 would see the development, integration and supply of a first prototype multi-fuel engine, followed by the supply of a small number of additional prototype engines for further evaluation of requirements.

Successful completion and acceptance of the development phases will then lead to the final, production phase, which is the expected authorisation of a low rate production run of the multi-fuel engine.

Orbital UAV says that the MOU is binding, subject to the successful completion and acceptance by the customer of Phase 1, and the mutual agreement of terms and conditions of subsequent contracts for Phases 2 and 3.

It adds that an initial contract has been signed to commence work within Phase 1 of the program, which is “anticipated to be completed within the next 18 months”. Phases 2 and 3 are dependent on the successful completion and acceptance by the customer of the first prototype engine identified in Phase 1.

“The MoU and initial contract provide us with the opportunity to further demonstrate our industry leading know-how and technical expertise in the UAV market with a new international customer,” said Todd Alder, CEO and Managing Director of Orbital UAV.

The company did not disclose the identity of the customer, although Singapore really has only one major defence company alongside a number of much smaller players. This major player is ST Engineering, which is majority-owned by the Singapore government’s investment arm Temasek Holdings.

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