Malcolm Turnbull at the announcement of the Rheinmetall deal © Commonwealth of Australia
Malcolm Turnbull at the announcement of the Rheinmetall deal © Commonwealth of Australia

Defence contracts worth $1bn go to Australian firms

An Australian scheme designed to embed local companies into international supply chains has reached a milestone of $1bn worth of contracts. 

Launched in 2007 by the Department of Defence, the Global Supply Chain Programme works with multinational defence companies to identify opportunities for Australian companies within their supply chains. 

“The achievement of over $1 billion in Global Supply Chain Programme contracts is an impressive achievement, and evidence of our world class defence industry,” minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne said.

The milestone was achieved as South Australian composites company Airspeed inked a deal with defence contractor Thales Australia to design and manufacture key components for next generation sonar systems. 

“Airspeed’s success in delivering on this contract will embed the company in Thales’s supply chain and provide access to future export opportunities around the world,” Pyne said.

More than 80% of contracts awarded by Thales have gone through the Global Supply Chain programme over the past five years.

Meanwhile, Pyne recently opened the Australian Defence Export office in Canberra, part of the government’s new defence export system announced in January 2018.

The office will develop a range of initiatives to support the Australian defence industry, including partnerships in multi-year campaigns.

Pyne added: “Australian small and medium businesses are often the beneficiaries of supply chain contracts. This was evident with the recent announcement of the Rheinmetall Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, with over 40 companies from across Australia contracted for the construction of the fleet.”

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, announcing the Rhinemetall deal in March, said the contract would help local companies enter global supply chains, providing employment opportunities to Australians.

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