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November 16, 2017
Ground Warfare Acoustical
Combat Systems (GWACS)
– Spearpoint Solutions &
Technology Pty Ltd
GWACS is an intelligent detection
system for enemy fire.
It works in both open vegetated and
complex urban terrains, to detect
and display where enemy gunshots,
unmanned aerial systems (UAS),
and indirect fire are coming from,
and their distance from the user –
all in less than a second.
GWACS operates best as a set of
networked units, and uses sound
to locate enemy fire, and a mesh
network to determine friendly force
The user can receive information
via a portable display, or even on a
wearable smart watch platform.
RMY personnel had
the opportunity to get a
closer look at some of
the technologies which
might be coming into service
in the future at the fourth Army
Innovation Day, held at ADFA on
Vendors displayed a wide vari-
ety of equipment, from shotgun
inserts for the in-service 40mm
GLA to armed drones capable of
firing up to 80 rocket propelled
grenades at targets 3km away.
Head of Land Capability Maj-
Gen Kathryn Toohey said some
of the gear displayed may end up
in the hands of soldiers within 12
“These technologies might not
be fully fielded in 12 months, but
we really want to get them out;
we want our soldiers playing with
them,” she said.
“We need to be identifying
relatively cheap, agile and better
technologies we can roll out faster
than through the normal acquisi-
“Innovating isn’t just about the
technology. It’s about the technol-
ogy, the employment of the tech-
nology and the structure around it.
“I think the business term is
‘innovate or die’, which obviously
Army personnel get a glimpse of tomorrow at Innovation Day,
Cpls Sebastian Beurich and Julia Whitwell report.
has a particular resonance with
The theme of the day was
‘novel weapons and novel effects’
a broad category which covered
a range of applications.
Of particular interest to Army
were applications of robotics and
autonomous systems, possibly to
replace soldiers performing dull,
dirty or dangerous jobs.
They are also another way to
generate ‘mass’, which for a small
defence force defending the largest
island continent in the world, is
Director General of Modern-
isation Brig Chris Mills said the
day was about enabling our sol-
diers, sailors, airmen and women,
as part of the joint land force, to
win in future operations.
“In simple terms, Army puts
out a challenge to industry and
they present back with innovative
solutions to our challenge,” he
“We had 19 different compa-
nies showcasing 25 different pro-
posals, each of which was about
giving the winning capability back
to our soldiers.
“We had future sights which
track a moving target and only
release a round when it’s guaran-
teed to hit.
“We also had a drone which is
large enough to loiter around an
area and provide indirect fire sup-
port to infantry, through to robotics
and a range of other systems.”
We’ve chosen a few key items
which stood out from the presenta-
tions, to give you a bit more detail
on what could be in your hands in
One thing is for sure – the
technology on display could
potentially change the game for
We had future
track a moving
only release a
round when it’s
Brig Chris Mills,
Director General of
GREAT advances have been made in the
body armour we use.
It was only a few years ago deployed
soldiers were using the heavy and bulky
MCBAS system, which significantly
The current issue SCE is definitely
a step in the right direction, giving the
wearer a high level of protection, as well
as mobility, but reducing the weight of a
soldier’s equipment can never hurt.
DefendTex has come up with a
new form of low-profile armour plates,
moving away from the composite and
ceramic plates currently in use.
The low-profile plates measure in at
around half the thickness of tradition-
al plates, but due to a combination of
extremely high-hardness steel and new
composites, they offer the same protec-
tion as ceramic plates, but are rated for
double the number of strikes.
The plates DefendTex had on show
weighed in at 1.8kg and because of their
hardness, weren’t damaged due to drops
or heavy impacts.
Low Profile Body Armour will
allow soldiers greater movement.
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