Ballistic plates for combat body armour to protect Australian troops can now be made in Australia thanks to the development of new manufacturing technology.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the new technology during a visit to the CSIRO in Melbourne today.
"Body armour is one of the most important elements of a soldier's personal protection. It offers protection from ballistic threats like small-arms fire and fragments from improvised explosive devices," Mr Snowdon said.
"The ballistic plate inserted into body armour is made from an advanced ceramic material that is incredibly strong for its weight. The stronger and lighter the ballistic plate, the better protection it provides to our soldiers."
New technology to manufacture the ballistic plates has been developed through a partnership between:
Australian Defence Apparel will soon be able to manufacture the ballistic plates at their factory in Bendigo.
Mr Clare said that most ballistic plates used by the ADF are currently imported from the United States.
"Manufacturing these plates in Australia has big advantages. It will allow for new technology to be prototyped quickly and for product development to occur in Australia," Mr Clare said.
"Thanks to the hard work of the scientists, engineers and Australian Defence Industry here we now have a world-leading product that can be produced here in Australia."
The Defence Materials Technology Centre is a not-for-profit company jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government's 'Defence Future Capability Technology Centre' program, the Victorian Government, and industry and research body participants.
The Centre brings together defence industry, universities and government research agencies to develop new materials and manufacturing technologies that will enhance Australia's defence capability.