Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced that Queensland-based and veteran-owned Australian SME GaardTech is preparing to export advanced training systems for the first time, as part of a trial with the British Army.
GaardTech, which manufactures land targets used in training exercises, is preparing to ship 3D robotic tanks, 3D robotic APC’s and 3D robotic SA-6 systems, along with static 2D vehicle targets and dismounts.
The Australian manufacturer’s training systems are expected to be tested by a number of the UK’s military assets, including the Apache Longbow, Challenger 2 MBT, AJAX IFV, 155mm Artillery, and Royal Air Force capabilities.
GaardTech’s founding director Steen Bigaard said the export trial marks a key milestone in the progression of the SME.
“These training systems are unlike anything seen on the world stage, with a dynamic free moving enemy, able to move at over 35Km H cross country, along with our active thermal system and formation control software,” he said.
“No longer will the UK Army be stuck on outdated fixed ranges, nor will they have to shoot at a fixed flank on an enemy target which offers limited training benefit and lack a combat response when fired upon.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated GaardTech on its first export, adding that the firm serves as an example of the “cutting-edge technologies” developed and maintained by Australia’s defence industry.
Minister Price noted that the export trial with the British Army was made possible after the firm met representatives at the Defence Security and Equipment International tradeshow while demonstrating its capabilities at the Team Defence Australia pavilion in London last year.
“I was pleased to lead a record Australian delegation at the DSEI event, where our companies – big and small – were able to promote their products to a global market,” Minister Price said.
“GaardTech’s achievement highlights the niche capabilities developed by Australian businesses supported by the Morrison government’s Defence Export Strategy.”
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Minister Price highlighted the contribution of the Australian Defence Export Office and Team Defence Australia in facilitating connections between Australian SMEs and global markets and foreign militaries.
“This is further proof of a highly successful Morrison government program and the government’s commitment to supporting Australian defence industry to achieve export success,” Minister Price concluded.
Sitting within the Australian Defence Export Office, Team Defence Australia is the premier national platform for export-capable Australian defence and dual-use companies to showcase their goods, services, technology and solutions at international trade events.
Team Defence Australia works with defence industry, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), Austrade and state and territory governments to help prepare Australian delegations’ attendance at overseas trade shows and ensure they maximise their international exposure. The CDIC supports Team Defence Australia by managing expressions of interest and leveraging relationships with prime companies through the Global Supply Chain program.
Attending an overseas trade show or participating in a trade mission with Team Defence Australia is a cost-effective option for eligible companies looking to export their products and services, benchmark themselves internationally or research their competitors. Team Defence Australia procures the floor space and builds the exhibition stand, with companies only needing to finance their flights and accommodation.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.