Canberra-made remote weapons system to be sent to Ukraine in $120m direct military sale
By defence correspondent Andrew Greene, 3 April 2023
A Canberra-based defence company has inked a $120 million dollar deal to export its Remote Weapons System (RWS) to Ukraine and is hopeful of soon securing further arms sales to the war-torn country.
Electro Optic Systems (EOS) on Monday announced a conditional contract was recently signed in Ukraine's capital Kyiv, with the lethal equipment expected to be delivered as early as this year.
According to EOS, the RWS technology delivers "greater accuracy and reliability" than other competitor products and can be integrated onto various vehicles and platforms for a broad range of missions.
"They [soldiers] do not have their heads up above the turret or above the vehicle, where they can be easily shot, they can stay within the protected environment within the vehicle," explained EOS chief executive Andreas Schwer.
The ACT-developed Remote Weapons System is currently in use with several militaries across the globe, including in North America, Europe, South-East Asia and controversially by armed forces in the Middle East.
To secure the multi-million-dollar deal, EOS received assistance from Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko, while senior company executive Matthew Jones made two recent trips to war-torn Kyiv.
Dr Schwer believes the contract, which is backed by the federal government but involves no taxpayer-funded assistance, could lead to further deals for EOS in Eastern Europe.
"EOS is proud to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine by providing the country with the lifesaving utility of its Remote Weapon System. This will contribute to its critical security and defence needs," he said.
"It's a big door opener, not only into the Ukrainian market, but also into the Eastern European market, we expect that this kind of battlefield proven [product] will give us further opportunities all around the world."
Meanwhile, the Albanese government released the latest Defence Sales Catalogue, which is designed to promote Australian weapons to overseas markets.
The EOS technology was also featured among 250 offerings.
"The Albanese Government is committed to growing Australia's defence exports, as well as supporting home-grown innovation, both of which are key to industry success," Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said on the release of the catalogue.
"This year's Catalogue features a record number of Australian businesses, demonstrating we have a growing number of world-class defence products, services, and technologies."
Read the article at the ABC News website