The acquisition of an established local engineering firm is set to fast-track the commercial expansion of South Australian electronic warfare company DEWC Systems.
The deal will give DEWC Systems the facilities, tools and personnel to move from service providers for other companies to producers of its own innovative hardware and software products.
This will be of vital importance to progress its leading role in the Miniaturised Orbital Electronic Sensor System (MOESS) project, which is moving from the research phase to design and prototyping.
DEWC started in 2011 as a consultancy company and rapidly grew into three separate companies: DEWC Services and DEWC Systems, specialises in developing and delivering innovative and ground-breaking electronic warfare-related technologies while DEWC T&E is training and education focussed.
Based at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, DEWC Systems formed in 2018 to enhance defence capability and to help build the Australian defence industry within South Australia.
In November it received a $150,000 Defence Innovation Partnership grant to lead phase one of the MOESS project in collaboration with DST, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
AES Managing Director Bruce Lobb and DEWC Systems Director CEO Ian Spencer signed the acquisition agreement earlier this month that will see Lobb stay on as chief engineer for the DEWC group of companies.
Spencer said the AES acquisition was a “real turning point” for DEWC Systems.
“We were on a path of development that needed to be rapid but it was slower than what we would have liked,” he said.
“By bringing AES into the fold we’ve become the fully capable company that we’d set out to be.
“Now the research phase of MOESS is coming to an end, in the next couple of months we’ll start moving into the design and prototyping, which is when we’ll start leveraging off their skills.
“There are a number of other jobs and projects we’re working on and aiming for that will require us to use these new skills as well.”
AES was started in 1979 and has solved engineering problems across several industries including agriculture, medical, avionics and defence.
Its previous defence projects included work on JORN, Wedge Tail, Echidna, Collins Class Submarines and Anzac Frigates for the New Zealand Navy.
Lobb is bringing four of his five staff with him to DEWC, which will take the group’s workforce up to about 35.
He said he was thankful for the opportunity to be part of the DEWC group and was “more happy than sad” about what was in some ways the end of AES in its 40th year.
“By coming to DEWC I am more than confident that it’s going to be a quantum leap forward because they have the upper level that I didn’t have but it’s also a chance to help enhance DEWC’s capability,” Lobb said.