Minister for manufacturing sovereignty Ben Carroll announced the first round of grant recipients under the Victorian Land Systems Fund – Supply Chain Uplift Program during a visit to the site for Hanwha Defense Australia’s $170 million Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence.
The program aims to support local companies to become part of Hanwha’s supply chain by helping them meet specific technological, business system and accreditation requirements.
A total of almost $200,000 will be awarded to five companies that specialise in land systems defence, including Campbellfield-based APV Corporation, which will develop a specialised military seatbelt, and Waurn Ponds’ Hannagan Solutions, which will develop custom textiles to protect and camouflage military vehicles and soldiers.
Other companies benefiting from the grants include Australian Precision Technologies and Redline Engineering with both set to strengthen their cyber security systems, while Diamond Defence will introduce a new quality management system to achieve a required industry certification.
The Victorian State Government supported Hanwha to establish its defence manufacturing operations in the state.
Once completed, the site under construction at the Avalon Airport Industrial Precinct will produce the company’s self-propelled howitzers for the Commonwealth’s LAND 8116 program, creating more than 300 new highly skilled jobs in design, engineering and advanced manufacturing.
Hanwha is one of two final bidders for the Commonwealth’s LAND 400 Phase 3 program. If successful, its Avalon site will also produce the company’s infantry fighting vehicles, dubbed the ‘Redback’.
Victoria’s defence sector is made up of around 6,300 businesses, supports around 24,300 jobs across the sector and contributes $8.4 billion to the state’s economy each year.
“We want to see more Victorian-made products used by global defence firms like Hanwha, which is why we’re helping small and medium businesses to compete for and win major contracts,” minister Carroll said.
Hanwha Defense Australia managing director Richard Cho said, “We are pleased to be working closely with the Victorian Government who have supported not just us but a range of companies in our supply chain.”