The Melbourne-based firm has been tapped to develop upgraded combat helmets for the ADF.
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Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has confirmed the award of a $35 million contract to Aquaterro for the refurbishment and upgrade of the Australian Defence Force’s combat helmets.
The tiered combat helmet is designed to provide personnel with protection against ballistic, fragmentation and blunt force trauma by leveraging a ballistic protection shell, suspension and retention systems, and accessory mounts and rails.
It is anticipated that the upgrades will extend the life of the ADF’s current helmets by approximately five years.
With this new deal, Aquaterro will become the first company outside the US to refurbish the Team Wendy-built helmets.
Work on the helmets has already commenced at the company’s Pakenham facility, with the five-year contract expected to generate 10 highly skilled, technical jobs in addition to the 40 jobs currently supported by the firm.
“Companies like Aquaterro are building robust domestic supply chains that we can rely on,” Minister Price said.
“Aquaterro’s work in establishing this program will help ensure the ADF has the best available capability to defend Australia and its national interests.”
Member for La Trobe Jason Wood also welcomed the new contract, and reflected on Aquaterro’s growth in recent years.
“Aquaterro started off in a warehouse in Dandenong and has now expanded to a new site in Pakenham,” Wood said.
“This major contract should give Aquaterro the confidence to invest in its business in the future, while importantly supporting local jobs throughout La Trobe.”
Aquaterro officially announced the completion of ‘Building 2’ on its Aquaterro Defence Precinct in Pakenham earlier this month.
This Integrated Soldier Systems Centre, built on over 3,000 square metres of industrial land, is adjacent to the company’s 6,500-square-metre headquarters property, which will accommodate the Armour Technical Inspection and Refurbishment Workshop.
“As a leading provider of soldier and officer worn and carried equipment, Aquaterro is steadfast in its continual strategic investment in product design, development, testing and production capabilities,” the firm said in a statement.
“Aquaterro’s commitment to investment in these critical capabilities continues to be evident through its significant expansion across multiple fronts, including recruitment of technical specialists and investment in dedicated infrastructure for the future, long-term commitment of self-protection personal equipment research and development.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison previewed Aquaterro’s refurbishment and SPPE capabilities during his visit to the facility in May.