Opportunity for Leading Australian Innovations with US Defense
07 Nov 2019
The US defence market remains the world’s largest and can be a lucrative
export market for Australian industry. It is also highly competitive.
Selling into the US defence industry means mastering complex regulations
and major time commitments.
To support Australian businesses, Austrade is working with the Australian
Department of Defence to identify programs that Australian companies can
leverage to decrease the time and cost of selling to US forces.
Rapid selection benefits Australian projects
One such program is the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program, run by
the US Department of Defense (DoD). The FCT has a mission to find, test and
procure the latest technologies amongst US allied and partner nations.
The program seeks to find foreign technologies through a competitive basis.
Technologies that can be inserted rapidly into US procurement are selected
for evaluation. If successful, the FCT program can provide a streamlined
approach to selling to DoD.
Australian companies have a successful track record in the program. Of 49
projects that received funding for evaluation, nine have been procured
and/or fielded. These projects have a combined value of over A$500 million.
Is the DoD hunting for technology like yours?
Currently, the FCT program is seeking modernisation technologies in
multiple areas, including: space, missile defence, hypersonics, directed
energy, quantum technology, bio technology, cybersecurity, fully networked
command control and communications, artificial intelligence and advanced
To be considered for the program, technologies must have reached the
prototype stage – or a rating of 6–9 on the
Technology Readiness Level.
Additionally, products must be resilient in contested environments. This
includes being resistant to electronic warfare and cyber-attacks – an
increasing focus of concern for defence forces around the world.
Most importantly, technologies must clearly demonstrate innovation, value
or superior performance.
In total the FCT looks at over 1000 technologies and solutions annually,
although only around 10–15 projects are selected each year. This makes for
a very competitive process. For companies with leading technologies in the
specified areas, however, the FCT could be a pathway into DoD worth
For more information on the FCT program or on exporting to the US Defence
market, get in touch with the Austrade Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and
Space team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Links and resources