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Companies, schools join defense program

Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:49 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A dozen more organizations have joined an Australian program to fix high-risk and complex defense capability problems.

The program is called the Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation Program, a partnership between government defense units, industry and academic institutions across Australia.

The new organizations are: Elbit Systems of Australia Pty Ltd; Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd; Artis Group Pty Ltd; Cocoon Data Holdings Limited; Edith Cowan University; Eggler Consulting Engineers; Etherstack Pty Ltd; Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd; Orbital8 Pty Ltd; RPC Technologies Pty Ltd; the University of Western Australia; and ZBOB Engineering Pty Ltd.

"(A total of) 220 companies and academic institutions are now part of this program," Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said. "The work they're doing is saving taxpayers' money and making sure our soldiers, sailors and aircrew have got the capability they need to do their job."

The RPDE program has commenced its 100th activity for the Department of Defense and has contributed to more than one-third of the projects in the Defense Capability Plan.

Examples of this include the Anzac Class Frigates Electronic Interference Remediation project, which has improved communications and the safety of Naval personnel; identifying savings to taxpayers of $50,000 a day in fuel costs through better energy management at Forward Operating Bases; and fast-tracking sensor training for air combat officers so they are ready for the arrival of new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

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