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Aust. Defence Minister Opens Facilities, $20m prog

Defence Minister Opens New Facilities For Collaborative $20m Industry And Defence Program

Defence Minister, Senator Robert Hill, today opened new facilities in Canberra for the $20M collaborative Defence and Industry Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation (RPDE) program, which is designed to achieve rapid and substantial improvements in the ADF’s warfighting capability.

Senator Hill said that the RPDE program provides local specialist companies with an opportunity to contribute their innovation and ideas along with multinational firms.

"RPDE is proving to be an effective example of partnering between industry and the Australian Department of Defence with 48 participant companies, from global trans-nationals to small regional Australian companies involved.

"The collaborative environment benefits RPDE members and associates as they gain a greater understanding of the needs of the ADF in a Network Centric Warfare (NCW) setting. Defence benefits through rapid access to expertise across key industries to resolve NCW issues and make better capability decisions, resulting in quantitative improvements in the ADF’s warfighting ability," Senator Hill said.

RPDE will address all aspects of capability including doctrine, training, support and organisational aspects as well as technology and systems.

"Current RPDE projects are evaluating and demonstrating technology and processes changes that can improve the ADF’s ability to conduct rapid environmental assessments, and improving the use of the existing communications capability.

"The RPDE program has started to deliver enhanced Defence and industry cooperation, which in turn creates the means for rapidly exploiting industrial innovation to achieve the ‘knowledge edge’ for the ADF.

"The indications are that the RPDE program I announced in August in 2004 will build on its initial success and facilitate industry making even greater contributions to the capability of the ADF to defend our National interests," Senator Hill said.

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