Australian company Varley Group and global defence company Rafael have announced a joint venture, Varley Rafael Australia, to help build sovereign capabilities and create export opportunities.
Announcing the news yesterday, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the partnership is a great mark of confidence in Australia’s defence industry.
“This partnership between one of Australia’s best defence companies and a global success story like Rafael is another success story for Australian industry. This will bring IP, know-how and advanced manufacturing techniques to Australia to produce capability for use by the ADF with the potential for export to our friends and allies,” Minister Pyne said.
Varley Group CEO, Jeff Phillips said the joint venture will produce a range of Rafael systems in Australia, initially focusing on the land systems sector.
“The joint venture is offering the Spike LR2 5th generation missile system, manufactured and supported in Australia for the Land 400 program. We are alos looking for opportunities to be part of the BAE System’s Future Submarine programs as well as airforce projects,” Phillips told Manufacturers’ Monthly.
Rafael is one of Israel’s largest defence companies, with a global footprint and around 7,500 employees in Israel. They manufacture some of the world’s leading weapon systems, including the Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile.
Phillips said Varley Rafael Australia will create around 70 immediate jobs in Australia as part of the company’s contribution to the Land 400 contract – with the potential to grow the team as the group takes part in the navy and airforce projects.
“Within the next five years, depending on the volume of the orders we receive, we expect the joint venture to create between 200 to 400 job opportunities,” Phillips said.
“Rafael also has highly advanced facilities for research and development in defence manufacturing and we plan to engage with Australian universities to facilitate the transfer of technical know-how from Israel to Australia,” he added.
Varley is one of Australia’s oldest and most advanced manufacturing and engineering companies, with a history of delivery for the ADF.