New Zealand's top military science secrets are attracting million-dollar investments from allied defence forces.
US Navy has agreed to buy six Kiwi-created diver training systems in a
the New Zealand's Defence Technology Agency - the main provider of
research, science and technological support to the New Zealand Defence
Force and the Ministry of Defence, including the SAS - is preparing to
take another secretive project to the next level.
DTA believes it has created the world's first fully-portable unit for
measuring ship signatures, the acoustic, pressure, magnetic and seismic
"footprint" of a vessel. The signatures allow a ship to be
picked up by enemy radar and, potentially, underwater mines.
more than 20 years of research and development, the DTA has been able to
shrink a unit the size of a 20ft shipping container into something
relative in scale to a wheelie-bin.
value, financially and to human life, could prove colossal. It is
potentially destined for action with British and American forces in the
like to work out the signatures of our ships to find ways of either
minimising or disguising them, because they're used by unscrupulous
people to trigger mines," Garry Armstrong, the DTA's trials
people think that stealth stuff is special to submarines and planes, but
they're doing a lot of work in designing stealth elements into ships,
especially to do with radar and infrared.
is nothing on the market like this at and the US and the UK are
sensors can be launched by just two crew members and Armstrong estimated
the units would be worth about US$500,000 ($750,000) each.
technologies the DTA has previously designed have attracted the interest
of the US Navy and the Royal Navy.
director Dr Brian Young said for a relatively small military entity,
being able to commercialise target technological developments was vital.
agency has an annual budget of about $10 million, the majority spent on
the salaries of its 80-plus staff.
kinds of investment we've already seen from the United States are
significant," Young said.
earns international respect for the Defence Force and is useful in
strengthening relationships with allied nations."
this week, American military officials travelled to New Zealand and met
counterparts from here, the UK, Australia and Canada to discuss
space-sharing activities and increasing military partnerships. American
officials spoke of existing and future operations.
and partnerships represent a necessary step within national security
that increases transparency, strengthens deterrence, improves mission
assurance, enhances resilience and optimises resources across