The Commonwealth has awarded Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, in partnership with Armor Composite Engineering, a $2.13 million contract to support the continued development of unique lightweight armour for Defence’s C-130J Hercules airlifter.
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It is hoped that the new solution onboard the aircraft would decrease aircraft fatigue as well as the threat of injury to ADF members.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price explained that the project will create more defence jobs, and demonstrates the government’s enduring support for the defence industry and sovereign defence supply chains.
“This contract will strengthen ADF capabilities and provide an opportunity to maximise Australian industry participation,” Minister Price said.
“By investing in the innovative ideas of Australian small and medium businesses, we are delivering more opportunities for those businesses to participate in Defence projects and directly contribute to ADF capability.
“The Morrison government is committed to supporting innovative small businesses within the Australian defence industry to develop technologies that present opportunities for Defence and for international export markets.”
John Eldridge, director of Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, suggested that the new contract would enable the small businesses to grow and expand their armour production footprint within both Australia and among its allies.
“To support this contract, Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers has employed an additional four engineering staff and Armor Composite Engineering has increased its manufacturing staff by two, with a further two staff to be employed in the next 12 months,” Eldridge said.
The announcement comes a month after the Commonwealth announced new base upgrades in Tasmania, with approximately $57.4 million invested in infrastructure upgrades as part of the the Anglesea Paterson Project.
This is set to include:
- Work at Hobart’s Anglesea Barracks ($17.7 million), including the development of a new 1800 Defence Call Centre to support the Defence Customer Service Network.
- The construction of a new cadet facility in the northern suburbs of Launceston ($15.8 million).
- Investment in the Australian Defence Force reserves and cadet facilities at Youngtown Depot in South Launceston ($11.2 million).
- The Anglesea Barracks upgrades aim to improve the safety and functionality of the site for personnel.
Development of the call centre is estimated to generate five new jobs, while also providing a contemporary environment consistent with modern day practices.
The local industry is tipped to deliver 80 per cent of the work, which according to Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, would maximise opportunities for local businesses and give the state economy a “real shot in the arm”.
“This is a huge win for Tasmania, particularly the small businesses that stand to reap the benefits of this significant $57.4 million investment,” Minister Price said.
“… The construction workforce across the projects is predicted to be an average of 30 personnel, with a peak of around 80 workers per day across sites.”
Defence has worked alongside the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to develop the Anglesea Paterson Project.
Construction work is scheduled to commence in early 2022 and is expected to be completed in mid-2023.