Submarine rescue company acquires Newcastle specialist business

JFD Australia has tipped more defence industry jobs to be created with the acquisition of Newcastle’s Cowan Manufacturing, a diving and recompression specialist company.

JFD Australia said the acquisition is part of its plans to expand its Australian manufacturing base, which already includes high-tech facilities at Bibra Lake and Kirrawee.

Under the acquisition, JFD Australia will extend its existing RAN hyperbaric repair capability and the manufacturing of highly technological steel and aluminium equipment, such as the submarine rescue vehicles.

Chairman of JFD's senior Australian leadership team Peter Horobin said the addition of Cowan Manufacturing to the JFD family is an exciting day for the West Australian business.

"Perth is where it all began for JFD in Australia in 2003, equipping the Royal Australian Navy with military diving equipment and systems, then, in 2009, we began providing the RAN with a free-swimming submarine rescue service and escape training facility," said Horobin.

"From there, with the help of an outstanding local supply chain and some 100 local personnel, we have become a safe, proven and reliable capability partner of the RAN as well as a leading exporter of products for defence industries around the world. This is an exciting day for JFD and our staff, who can look forward to even more employment opportunities as Cowan Manufacturing will expand JFD’s capability, resulting in JFD creating more jobs across Australia for Australians."

Cowan Manufacturing has been a family business since 1973 and currently employs 25 staff, all of which will retain their positions under the acquisition. The company has been recognised globally for its design and manufacture of lifesaving recompression and hyperbaric chambers.

"Our core business has always been to make world’s best products using Australian steel and aluminium and employing highly-skilled local tradespeople," said managing director of Cowan Manufacturing Bob Cowan.

"It has been this unwavering commitment to quality along with our workshop, testing and laboratory facilities that has seen us establish important defence clients in Australia, Asia and Europe and secure the highly-sought US Navy Seal of Approval. Aligning with JFD Australia is the obvious progression for us, as both businesses are keen to push ahead with supporting and growing local industry and jobs."

Submarine rescue company acquires Newcastle specialist business
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