Black Sky Aerospace has welcomed a federal government announcement that it will receive almost $500,000 in co-investment via the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) managed Commercialisation Fund.

Black Sky CEO Blake Nikolic said the grant will allow Black Sky to manufacture all the materials required to make solid rocket motors for its space and defence programs in Australia.

“We identified early that we were having to import significant amounts of the materials needed to make propellant for our solid rocket motors,” Mr Nikolic said.

“The grant announced today will mean we can make the precursor materials – or the compounds required for the solid fuel – here in Australia.”

“That means all the required materials can be 100% sovereign sourced and manufactured, allowing us to meet Australia’s needs, with huge export potential too,” he said.

AMGC Managing Director, Dr. Jens Goennemann said that the project with Black Sky Aerospace demonstrates the chain reaction manufacturing can have in developing onshore opportunities.

“Until recently, Australia did not possess a sovereign capability to manufacture solid state rockets, let alone the fuel. Now with the assistance of AMGC, Black Sky Aerospace can manufacture the rockets, the fuel and the precursor ingredients onshore providing for an entirely new civil, defence and space capability,” said Goennemann.

Mr Nikolic said the dual-use nature of the propellant will help to meet Australia’s needs into the future.

“Without all the necessary ingredients for the propellant, including precursor chemicals and compounds, Australia has been having to import propellant as part of its missile systems,” Mr Nikolic said.

“This grant will allow us to develop the processes, procedures and know-how to turn materials sourced in Australia into solid rocket fuel for both space and defence applications,” he said.

“Black Sky thanks the Minister, the Department, AMGC and the grant assessment panel for their foresight in contributing toward this vital sovereign capability.”