Victorian company to deliver new combat armour

A Bendigo manufacturer has landed a potentially-lucrative contract to deliver new combat body armour using world-first innovations for Australian and international defence forces.

A Bendigo manufacturer has landed a potentially-lucrative contract to deliver new combat body armour using world-first innovations for Australian and international defence forces.

The manufacturer, Australian Defence Apparel (ADA), will manufacture the armour with the help of an undisclosed monetary sum from the Victorian Government.

The armour contract includes light weight thermal tiles that are reportedly a world-first in defence innovation.

The armour grade ceramic technology was developed by ADA in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Centre, Defence Materials Technology Centre, Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing and CSIRO.

"This technology was developed in Victoria and demonstrates the benefits of close co-operation between Victoria's world class manufacturing and R&D institutions," said manufacturing, exports and trade minister, Richard Dalla-Riva

"This means that soldiers will be able to not only meet their armour requirements but carry less-weight, making them better protected and more agile in the field.”

ADA will reportedly manufacture the tiles using cutting edge production techniques, allowing the company to respond more rapidly to demands from the Australian Defence Force.

ADA employs around 200 staff at its Bendigo and Coburg manufacturing plants.

The new body armour vests could also be exported to police and security companies around the world, said Dalla-Riva.

Australia’s defence manufacturing industry has suffered at the hands of the high Australian dollar, with Bendigo-based Thales sacking 200 workers in February.

However, there is still work around for those who know where to find it, says the Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA), which staged a tender briefing for the manufacture of standard and operational combat uniforms, and components fabrics in Melbourne in February.

Tenders for the manufacturing business are still open, but close on 31 May. According to the TFIA, there are ‘a lot of’ contracts available.

[Image: Department of Defence]