MEDIA RELEASE 3rd September 2021


DefendTex takes Advanced Manufacturing of rocket boosters to space

DefendTex have successfully been awarded its 4th Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P), announced today by Minister for Industry, Science and Business, Christian Porter.

$3M in funding will be provided to produce Australia’s first 3D printed rocket booster for space, in Gippsland, regional Victoria. Project Lead, DefendTex along with project participants including the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) – Centre for Additive Manufacturing, Defence Science Technology Group (DSTG) and Rocktech Pty Ltd have demonstrated successful 3D printing of small-scale rocket motors in a previous CRC-P and this 3-year project will scale this to modular booster sizes capable of reaching space.

Travis Reddy, DefendTex CEO states “The novel approach of additive manufacturing will allow for reduced cost, waste and greater responsiveness for space access, enabling domestic production of commercial rocket boosters which translates to affordable space access for Australia’s emerging space industry.” While imported rocket boosters are available, the regulatory burden and cost combined with foreign government control on their use are significant barriers.

“DefendTex will use the funding to join with industry and research partners to address Australia’s space industrycapability gap where there are no commercially available, domestically manufactured rocket boosters for launch in Australia.” Federal member for Gippsland Mr Chester said. “The project also has the potential to grow jobs in Gippsland and build the local economy.” DefendTex is one of two Gippsland companies to received funding under Round 11 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-Ps).

Media Enquiries: Director Innovation & Partnerships

MEDIA RELEASE 19th February 2021


Breakthrough space technology for Australian research consortium sees first successful Rotating Detonation Engine test bringing Australia closer to space.

Breakthrough space technology for Australian research consortium sees first successful Rotating Detonation Engine test bringing Australia closer to a sovereign space launch capability.

Australian research consortium led by DefendTex last week achieved Australia’s first successful test firing of a Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) designed and developed as part of the Cooperative Research Centre Project for Responsive Access to Space. RDEs are a next generation propulsion technology which provide highly efficient propulsion, potentially unlocking applications such as high-speed flight or responsive space access.

DefendTex Chief Executive Travis Reddy said in relation to the successful test firing, “I am proud of the work of the researchers to achieve what is an Australian first, putting us in an elite list of countries who have successfully demonstrated this technology. With follow on efforts, this innovative Research and Development aims to provide a cost-effective alternative for responsive space access.”

Mr Reddy also stated, “a few years ago, little funding and support was available for early-stage research in space technology, and through the Cooperative Research Centre Program the opportunity for collaborative engagement between academia, industry and defence has been made possible. This is allowing Australia to rapidly strengthen capability and expertise in this field to achieve game changing breakthroughs, future-proofing our economy and capturing a greater share of the space launch market”.

The research, funded by the Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centre Programme would not have been possible without the support of the Australian government with contributions from DefendTex Pty Ltd, RMIT University, University of Sydney, University of South Australia, Department of Defence and international partner Universität der Bundeswehr.

Project technical lead and Senior Lecturer at RMIT University, Dr. Adrian Pudsey, said “this has been an exceptionally challenging project, but through a strong collaboration we have successfully developed a truly unique capability and demonstrated the know-how and science required to push the boundaries of this technology”. There is significant excitement around these initial successes demonstrated at the RMIT operated, DefendTex rocket engine test cell.

Although this technology is in the early stages of research, future development of RDE technology could lead to an integrated space launch system enabling sovereign Low Earth Orbit launch capability allowing Australia to launch satellites and other space assets. Once commercialised, the RDE could directly benefit Australia’s space industry and indirectly support telecommunications, agriculture, transport, logistics and other industries.

Mr Reddy continued, “The success of the RDE puts DefendTex and our research partners at the forefront of developing sovereign capability in propulsion system technology and high-speed flight having previously completed the CRC-P for Hydrocarbon Fuel Technology for Hypersonic Air Breathing Vehicles and development of the Defence funded rocket propulsion systems”.

Media Enquiries: Director Innovation & Partnerships