NIOA have undertaken suitability trials for a specialist weapon coating system called EC Paint, under commission from the Australian Defence Force’s Armament Systems Program Office (ARMTSPO).
The aim of the trials was to simulate extreme operational conditions in order to test the durability of the coating, manufactured by NFM Group, and to ensure the weapon was not inhibited in any way by the paint.
NIOA's specialist engineering team worked with ARMTSPO's small arms sections to test the coating system applied to Colt M4A1-AU rifles, which were subject to high cyclic rates of fire to raise the temperature of the weapon to an extreme level.
The results of the testing of the EC Paint found the system was "easy to apply, exhibited excellent durability characteristics even under extreme operational conditions, did not affect the reliability of the weapon, was subsequently easy to completely and cleanly remove, and also provided low odour and low toxicity environmental benefits".
NIOA chief engineer Rudi Bekker said, “We are proud to be able to provide our specialist engineering services to the ADF. Our team of weapons and ordnance engineers are highly regarded throughout the industry, and it makes sense that Defence should leverage our specialist knowledge, equipment and facilities to deliver a fast, efficient and value for money result."
Weapon coating systems are increasing in popularity in military forces worldwide, especially for missions undertaken by special forces units where outcomes are dependent on maximum concealment.
Such paint schemes have the benefit of applying random patterns to conceal the man-made shape of the weapon, as well as applying a matte finish that reduces the shine and reflectivity of the weapon.
NIOA is an Australian-owned company and one of the largest suppliers of munitions to the Department of Defence. The company has partnerships with many of the world’s leading munitions manufacturers, including Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (previously Orbital ATK), Vista, Day and Zimmerman, Junghans and Nitrochemie.
NIOA specialises in the provision and support of weapon systems and integrated soldier systems focusing on close combat, special operations, direct and in-direct fire, target recognition/identification, suppression and neutralisation, training and force protection.