Defence has awarded a $2.13 million contract to two NSW firms, Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers in partnership with Armor Composite Engineering, to continue development of a unique lightweight armour for the RAAF’s fleet of C-130J Hercules airlifters.
The contract with will use a cutting-edge amour solution to provide the in-service aircraft with stronger protection. The innovation could reduce aircraft fatigue and the risk of injury to ADF personnel.
The Director of Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, John Eldridge, said the contract was an opportunity for the small business to export this and other armour solutions to Australia’s allies and grow its workforce.
AMCE has already successfully designed and installed under-floor armour in the C-130J to protect against 0.50in machine gun fire. It has also developed armoured paratroop doors for the aircraft as well as a lightweight armour installation for its flight crew station.
Eldridge added: “To support this contract, Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers has employed an additional four engineering staff and Armor Composite Engineering has increased its manufacturing staff by two, with a further two staff to be employed in the next 12 months.”
“This contract will strengthen ADF capabilities and provide an opportunity to maximise Australian industry participation,” said Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.
“By investing in the innovative ideas of Australian small and medium businesses, we are delivering more opportunities for those businesses to participate in Defence projects and directly contribute to ADF capability.”