Integrated equipment a defence industry disruptor

Antenna Control Unit on HMAS Melbourne

Electrotech managing director Stephen Renkert has nominated a growing and pervasive trend towards embracing the integration of equipment as the main disruptive change to the Australian defence mindset over the past three decades.

Renkert said the biggest shift in defence in terms of its mindset and culture over the past 30 years related to the equipment.

"Everything is integrated," he told Defence Connect. "Networks, and every sensor that was traditionally on a vessel as a separate sensor, is now essentially part of a network."

In particular, Renkert noted that the type of skills required to maintain equipment not only centered on the maintenance of sensors, for instance, but would also need to include a focus on the maintenance of the network itself.

"That comes from maintaining, diagnosing problems, etc [which] has been a significant change," he continued.

"There have also been a number of changes with regard to defence administration," said Renkert. "The bar is set pretty high with regard to … job planning, safety, sign off, [as well as] the documentation [certifying] that a job is a project that is thoroughly done."

While Renkert conceded that some of his counterparts in the industry might not welcome the increasing need to maintain comprehensive records, he, for his part, welcomed this trend.

"It is much more complete than it used to be and I applaud that quite frankly," he said. "Some will complain about the level of paperwork, but if you do it properly and you have people who are trained to do it, it's amazing how prepared you can be to undertake a job when you actually get to it."

To hear more from Electrotech's Stephen Renkert, tune in to our podcast here.

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