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Hands up those who knew we have a Defence science, research and technology team?

We do apparently, and the 70 or so personnel based in Devonport are in the process of being reviewed. Readers won’t be surprised to find the majority of the expertise is engineering-based, particularly around electronics and IT.

The Defence Technology Agency’s origins are naval, and its earlier work on sonar has morphed into a surveillance capability – particularly with regard to the refit and modifications now being carried out to the Orion aircraft fleet.

The DTA also has an overview and integration role for the defence forces’ IT technologies, as well as a small but significant capability in materials.

Last year’s defence white paper identified the need for a comprehensive review of the DTA as well as the provision of defence science and technology outcomes for NZ.

The three person review panel will talk with NZ stakeholders in the security, science and business communities, as well as looking at overseas experiences and model for defence science and technology.

Interested parties will be able to make online submissions from late January through the Defence Force website, with a final report due at the end of March.

The panel is led by retired Rear Admiral David Ledson, who is also current chair of Maritime NZ.
Former MoRST chief executive Dr Helen Anderson, and entrepreneur and Endeavour Capital founder Neville Jordan are also on the team.