Australia’s first combat helmet upgrade program to begin in Victoria
The Department of Defence has just entered into a historic $35 million contract with Melbourne company Aquaterro for the nation’s first combat helmet refurbishment and upgrade program.
The $35 million contract with Aquaterro will provide the Australian Defence Force with upgraded and refurbished combat helmets. The contract is expected to last up to five years and will create 10 highly skilled technical jobs at the company in Melbourne’s southeast.
With this deal, Aquaterro will become the first company to refurbish the tiered combat helmets, built by United States company Team Wendy, outside of the US.
The combat helmets incorporate a ballistic protection shell, suspension and retention systems, and accessory mounts and rails, providing the men and women of the Australian Defence Force protection against ballistic, fragmentation and blunt force trauma.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated Aquaterro for winning the $7 million a year contract.
“This program will extend the life of the Australian Defence Force’s existing fleet of tiered combat helmets by five years, and most importantly, will ensure our soldiers are protected on operations,” Minister Price said. “Companies like Aquaterro are building robust domestic supply chains that we can rely on.”
Minister Price stated that Aquaterro’s combat helmet refurbishment and upgrade program will ensure that the Australian Defence Force has the best available capability to defend the country and its national interests.
Work on the combat helmet started in July at Aquaterro’s purpose-built facility in Pakenham since the majority of required spare parts were already being manufactured in Australia.
Member for La Trobe Jason Wood welcomed the contract signing.
“Aqauterro started off in a warehouse in Dandenong and has now expanded to a new site in Pakenham,” Minister Wood said.
This major contract should give Aquaterro the confidence to invest in its business in the future, while importantly supporting local jobs throughout La Trobe”.
Melbourne-based Aquaterro currently has more than 40 employees. The company supplies tactical and safety equipment to state, territory and federal law enforcement and border protection agencies, as well as the Australian Defence Force.