Investment in innovative ADF aircraft armour delivers Hawkesbury jobs

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Women

Senator for New South Wales

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Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310

Steve Kuper (Minister Price’s office): +61 421 668 874

William Spence (Senator Payne’s office): +61 438 206 222

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9 February 2022

Joint Media Release: 

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women, Senator for New South Wales, Senator the Hon Marise Payne

The Morrison Government has awarded a job-creating $2.13 million contract to a Hawkesbury-based engineering consultancy to continue its development of a unique lightweight armour for the C-130J Hercules airlifter aircraft.

The contract with Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, in partnership with fellow NSW company Armor Composite Engineering, 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 Australian Defence Force personnel.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Government’s investment had created jobs at both companies and was further evidence of the Government’s determination to back defence industry to supply the ADF with the very best capability.

“This contract will strengthen ADF capabilities and provide an opportunity to maximise Australian industry participation,” Minister Price said.

“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.

“The Morrison Government is committed to supporting innovative small businesses within the Australian defence industry to develop technologies that present opportunities for Defence and for international export markets.”

Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the important contract was a vote of confidence in local capabilities. 

“The awarding of this contract shows that Hawkesbury businesses are more than capable of competing in this highly specialised field,” Senator Payne said.

The Director of Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, John Eldridge, said the contract was an opportunity for the small business to export the armour solution to Australia’s allies and grow its workforce.

“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,” Mr Eldridge said.

Industry and research organisations can submit innovation proposals through the Defence Innovation Portal at:

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