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Australia Taps Mitsubishi for Military Laser Development

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Australia to develop laser technology that will enhance the surveillance and survivability of defense platforms.

Prototypes of the laser capability developed by the DoD’s Defence Science and Technology Group will be tested to deliver more modernized electro-optic systems for Australian defense.

The collaboration will incorporate more than a decade of research and development conducted by the DoD, with the goal of commercializing the system as Mitsubishi moves toward a defense-centered business model.

The agreement is the first-ever joint development program made between the Japanese company and a foreign government in the defense sector.

Laser-Focused Defenses

Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro elaborated on the importance of the agreement with Mitsubishi in advancing Australia’s military technology development.

“Maintaining a technological edge relies on Australia committing to working with partners on defence science and technology,” she said.

“This collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Australia will enable cutting-edge laser technology developed by Australian defence scientists to be transformed into new technologies that protect our Australian Defence Force personnel.”

The DoD added that the partnership will create opportunities for Mitsubishi Electric Australia to access the defense technologies of its parent company, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, that may be of interest to the Australian Defence Force.

The agreement comes amid Australia’s push for a broader implementation of laser technology in its defenses.

Its most recent laser developments include sea-mapping laser drones and a 13-million Australian dollar ($8.3 million) high-power laser program for infantry defense.

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