• The RangeHawk drone has a whopping 40m wingspan and is set to test hypersonic weapons 
  • DroneShield secures $2m contract from European Government customer for its counterdrone tech
  • Aerospace player Quickstep has had to expand its Geelong facility due to drone demand

The US is planning to use a giant drone to test hypersonic missiles – and it’s a beast with a nearly 40m wingspan.

RangeHawk giant drone
Source: Northrop Grumman.

Manufacturer of the giant RQ-4 RangeHawk drone Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) will support the Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center’s (TRMC) unmanned high-altitude, long-endurance, responsive mobile flight test system – called SkyRange.

“Our RQ-4 RangeHawks will support the emerging class of hypersonic weapons and provide a combination of range, endurance and payload capacity,” Northrop Grumman vice president and general manager, global surveillance Jane Bishop said.

“These aircraft will continue their role in vital national security missions while enabling us to bring premier aircraft design, modification, operations and sustainment work to the Grand Forks community.”

Apparently the RangeHawks are cheaper and more efficicent than ship-based sensors.

“Northrop Grumman’s RangeHawk is ideally suited to collect data by providing persistent time-on-station positioned closer to flight path and agility to adapt to the dynamics of a testing environment – a force multiplier as we evolve critical national security capabilities,” TRMC acting director and principal deputy George Rumford said.


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The company has just nabbed a $2 million order for multiple DroneSentry fixed site detect-and-defeat systems from a European Government customer –  a record size contract for DroneShield’s European market.

The systems include SaaS subscriptions to DroneShield’s Artificial Intelligence software engines, being RFAI (radiofrequency sensor AI), DroneOptID (optical computervision AI) and DroneSentry-C2 command-and-control sensor fusion engine. 

“This contract reinforces our position that to be a global leader in the rapidly growing counterdrone sector. A full suite of products is critical, including handheld, vehicle and fixed site offering, as we are seeing sales with separate customer sets for each of those complementary products,” CEO Oleg Vornik said.



The aerospace composite business says it’s secured new orders from Australian drone companies and has doubled the size of its Geelong facility to accommodate firm and anticipated demand.

An amendment to the existing three-year Strategic Supply Agreement with Swoop Aero has resulted in firm orders for composite airframe parts totalling $5.4 million (an incremental $4 million increase from the order announced in October 2021). 

Work is expected to be completed at Quickstep’s Geelong facilities over the next 12 months. 

Plus, several drone related engineering and production orders have been received from Australian and international customers during August, further reinforcing the need for additional space and an increase in employees at the Geelong site. 

“The drone market is growing rapidly, and high-rate manufacturing solutions are a critical component of customer success,” business leader applied composites Steve Osborne said. 

“We are also excited that our engineering solutions and manufacturing offerings are gaining significant traction both here in Australia and in international markets.” 



MX1 has commercially launched its next generation Micro-X Rover mobile x-ray, the Rover Plus, which incorporates both the in-house designed and manufactured generator and an extended capability x-ray tube.

The increased x-ray output makes the Rover Plus highly suitable for specialised imaging needs in emergency departments, operating theatres, and military deployed hospitals. 

The company says the shift from a third-party supplied generator, which has been the most expensive component in the Rover, to the Micro-X high-powered generator will also deliver strong margin improvement. 

First orders have been received from DMS in France and Inframed in Israel.



The company has successfully integrated Red Cartel VR Production Studio following the acquisition announced in August last year, with the first tranche (out of three) of deferred consideration shares issued today.

Red Cartel designs virtual and augmented reality for location-based entertainment and premium content for games, venues and enterprise applications.

CEO Wayne Jones is pretty happy that Red Cartel has already developed the proprietary software and hardware underpinning XRG’s Operator Tactical Solutions, Military and Law Enforcement Training and Mission Rehearsal Systems – and developed the first FREAK Entertainment, multi-level VR game.

“The acquisition of Red Cartel has unleashed some major opportunities in both the consumer and enterprise markets,” he said.

“The ability to custom build software and hardware at the highest quality has enabled us to engage directly with military and law enforcement units around the world.”



The modular parking tech player has completed a mezzanine facility for John Hughes Group in Victoria Park, Perth WA, marking the first-time use of its patented technology in permanent structures.

The company says its tech creates opportunities for landowners and businesses where traditional construction cannot compete.

“Following the substantial completion of this project we have seen an increase in enquiry levels from the auto retail sector and we are aware this sector of the market will benefit significantly from our unique solution delivering cheaper and faster outcomes for their developments,” MD Peter McUtchen said.


DRO, QHL, MX1, XRG and PKD share prices today: