Australia-based Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers, in partnership with Armor Composite Engineering, has won a contract to develop a lightweight armour for the C-130J Hercules aircraft.

The $2.13m contract has been awarded by the Australian Government and the investment seeks to offer enhanced protection to the in-service aircraft, as well as generate job opportunities.

The armour solution is expected to minimise the risk of injury to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and manage aircraft fatigue.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “This contract will strengthen Australian Defence Force (ADF) capabilities and provide an opportunity to maximise Australian industry participation.

“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.”

This deal also creates an opportunity for the small business in the country to export the armour technology to the country’s partners and expand its workforce.

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By GlobalData

Aerospace & Mechanical Consulting Engineers director John Eldridge noted that an additional four engineering staff have been recruited to help deliver the contract.

Armor Composite Engineering has also hired two people for manufacturing works and plans to add two more in the coming year.

Price added: “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.”

Last month, the Australian Government unveiled a purpose-built facility in Brisbane to support the research and development of hypersonic weapons competencies.