More than 250 people representing small and medium Australian manufacturers attended the Thales Australia Protected Mobility supplier conference, underlining the depth of supply chain expertise in the SME sector.
The supplier conference provided an opportunity for SMEs to receive a detailed briefing on Thales’s Bendigo-based Protected Mobility business — home of the Bushmaster vehicle.
SMEs from across Australia attended the two sessions, gathering information on supply chain requirements relating to major national and international programs including Phases 3 and 4 of the DMO’s LAND 121 project, which involve protected utility vehicles as well as a new Australian Light Protected Vehicle.
Ian Irving, Thales Australia’s Land & Joint Systems Division Vice President, said the high turnout demonstrated the in-depth strength of Australian suppliers.
“The businesses participating included component suppliers, consultants, technical experts, manufacturing and design support groups and product innovators. It underlines the wide range of capabilities, products and services available in the SME sector.
“These skills are the lifeblood of industry. They demonstrate that we have the ability in this country to design, build and deliver the most advanced defence projects, on time and on budget.
“Our LAND 121 bids involve growing the capacity and competitiveness of the local defence industry, which benefits not only industry itself, but Australia as a whole through the delivery of world class capability to the Defence Materiel Organisation and the ADF.”
The event was organised in conjunction with Victoria’s Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, with strong support from the Australian Industry & Defence Network.