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Students play their part in the Ghost Bat

Students who have been engaged in the Victorian Defence Industry Scholarships may be unaware that they have played a part in the development and construction of the latest unmanned drone to enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The Royal Australian Air Force in conjunction with Boeing Australia have unveiled the new MQ-28A Ghost Bat unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Ghost Bat was developed under the “RAAF’s Loyal Wingman development program and Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System”[1] and is “…the first Australian-produced military combat aircraft in over 50 years”[2].

This local production has had a positive impact on Australian businesses with an “…industry team of over 35 Australian suppliers.”[3]

Whether they knew it of not, some of the components which went into the Ghost Bat were produced and scrutinised for quality assurance by students gaining work integrated learning through the Victorian Defence Industry Scholarships.

It is this sort of exposure which will give students the workplace skills needed for a career in the defence industry.

As is the nature of the defence industry, a sprocket or circuit board being worked on by students today, could be used in the construction of a new initiative like the Ghost Bat or part of a larger system being developed for the “Collins class submarine type-of-life extension.”[4]

It is also very promising to see the RAAF working with industry partner like Boeing Australia to create a continued industrial sovereign capability in Australia which in turn provides opportunities for those learning skills for our future workforce.

Further opportunities exist in the multitude of defence projects currently underway across Australia. While Victoria has the “Hanwha A19 Huntsman Self Propelled Howitzer being constructed at Avalon”[5], shipments of components for other projects are currently being sent interstate and internationally, recognising the quality of defence manufacturing in Victoria.

The Victorian Defence Industry Scholarships provides third or final year university Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics students from Victorian universities with the opportunity to undertake work integrated learning with companies who form the defence supply chain. Companies who host students benefit from a $4,500 grant and assist in shaping the next generation of engineers who will be needed in their industry. For more information about the Victorian Defence industry Scholarships visit:

[1] Boeing’s Australian-Produced Uncrewed Aircraft to be Named ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’

[2] iBid

[3] iBid

[4] Australia Confirms Life-Of-Type Extension For Collins-Class Submarines’s%20Prime%20Minister%20Scott%20Morison,to%20be%20conducted%20at%20Osborne.

[5] Hanwha locks onto Avalon for armoured plant