Daronmont Technologies head of marketing and business development Lee Stanley has said it’s currently a good time to be a small to medium enterprise operating in the defence industry, particularly compared with the situation in previous years.
Stanley told Defence Connect that there had been “a real shift in the focus, I think, on the Australian industry capability (AIC) and the approach to [it]”.
The public AIC reform outlines the plans and opportunities that contracted Defence suppliers may capitalise on while delivering to key Defence capability projects and sustainment activities.
“The words have been there for many years, but the current government's approach to it [and] Minister [for Defence Industry Christopher] Pyne's passion for Australian industry is really having an affect,” said Stanley. “We see the primes, we see the overseas companies and industry associations really wanting to engage with us, and we feel that the engagement is genuine.
“We even see it in the senior uniformed officers. We'll go to trade shows now. We've been to a few overseas and we've actually got the senior officers that are supporting the trade mission coming to us and asking us how they can help because the government wants them to help Australian industry do business overseas.”
Stanley also said that from an SME perspective, the timing was opportune to be active in the Australian Defence sector. Providing an update on the recent performance of Daronmont Technologies, Stanley emphasised that the company was essentially a small systems integrator.
“We've been around for about 20 years. We're in the surveillance, communications sort of domain,” Stanley said. “[We] got our big break making HF radars. We're probably the only company in the world that's actually built an HF surface wave radar and operated it 24/7 in a real environment.
“Now we moved on from that technology into work on the submarines where we addressed some obsolescence issues around direction finding systems. We've continued that strong relationship with the Defence Science and Technology Group, so we've had people working in other areas of radar development in Adelaide. That's showing great promise for us in the immediate future.”
In addition, Stanley noted that some of the key staff at Daronmont Technologies had an Air Force background.
“We were able to use our Air Force knowledge to help Air Force address some problems around air defence surveillance before Vigil Air,” he said.
Stanley noted how this tie-in with the Air Force had enabled the firm to introduce new technologies into the country around correlation and tracking, adding that “we've just grown that over the last sort of 10 or 12 years”.