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Canberra Bares Three Defense Science Appointments to Support Warfighting Capabilities

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The Australian Department of Defence has announced the appointment of Emily Hilder as head of the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator, a new government agency formed in May 2023 to transition game-changing concepts into capabilities that provide a warfighting advantage to the Australian Defence Force. The department said Hilder brings 20 years of industry and academic experience, as well as her international recognition as a leader in analytical science.

The department disclosed in July 2023 that Canberra’s ASCA investment is expected to reach $492.5 million over the next four years and $2.24 billion in the next decade. An ASCA External Advisory Board, composed of Australian scientists and industry advisers, has also been organized, with its inaugural meeting held recently.

The announcement of Hilder’s ASCA leadership came with two other appointments to advance defense science in support of the ADF.

Simon Firth, a former BAE Systems executive with over 15 years of global industry experience, will serve as assistant secretary to ASCA Capability Transition, while Suneel Randhawa will head the Defence Science and Technology Group’s Information Sciences division to contribute his expertise in cybersecurity and cyber warfare.

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