Southern Launch and DEWC systems teamed up in 2019 aiming to achieve the first fully Australian launch of a commercial space capable rocket. The Australian businesses had historic success on 19 September 2020.

Southern Launch achieved the launch of 2 space capable rockets carrying a payload of DEWC Systems high tech electronic warfare prototypes from the Koonibba Test Range. DEWC Systems prototypes help detect radar signals potentially coming from enemy aircraft and ships.

‘The launch activity is significant for us as it helped us to refine our technology, skills and enabled us to contribute to the emerging Australian space and defence sector,’ DEWC Systems CEO, Ian Spencer said.

Both businesses engaged the Centre for Defence Industry Capability advisory and facilitation services and were previously recipients of a Capability Improvement Grant to advance their businesses towards supporting Defence.

Southern Launch CEO, Lloyd Damp said these funds helped them upgrade rocket launch safety equipment and expedite the development of a space capable rocket launch facility.

‘This enabled the research, development and acceptance testing of Defence’s next generation capabilities,’ Mr Damp said.

‘We were really heartened by the response from the local first nation’s community, and encouraged by how it seemed to inspire the next generation of young people.’


Ian Spencer, CEO, DEWC Systems

What is a Capability Improvement Grant?


Capability Improvement Grants of $4,000 to $240,000 provide the opportunity to improve the capability, capacity and sustainability of your business to meet Defence requirements.

If your business has engaged CDIC advisory or facilitation services this grant allows for reimbursement of up to 80% of the cost of engaging a consultant or expert to implement the recommendations made by your CDIC business adviser.

For more information or to apply for this grant, visit Capability Improvement Grant.

What are CDIC Advisory and Facilitation Services?


If you’d like help understanding how to improve your business capability and capacity to meet Defence requirements, visit Advisory and facilitation services to get more information and to apply for services.

Further information


To read more about the successful launch, visit the Southern Launch News and DEWC Systems News pages.