New grant program to grow Australian defence industry

Department of Defence

The Albanese Government is delivering its commitment to grow Australia’s thriving defence industry, through a new $150 million industry grant program.

The Defence Industry Development Grant (DIDG) program, announced in the Defence Industry Development Strategy, will soon be open for applications.

The new grant program will provide over $150 million over four years dedicated to supporting Australian small to medium-sized business in areas of sovereign industrial priorities, exports, skilling and security. Each of the four program streams will begin to receive applications later this month.

This is in addition to over $30m that has been allocated under the previous grant programs this financial year.

The DIDG program replaces and expands previous defence industry grant programs. Nine businesses have been selected as the final recipients under the previous Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority and Defence Global Competitiveness Grant programs, receiving a total of $2.9 million in funding.

The final recipients are:

• R&I Instrument & Gear Co (VIC) receiving $676,737 to procure and commission a multi-axis computer numerical control gear hobbing and worm milling machining centre for precision fabrication of small gears used in a range of defence platforms including uncrewed aerial systems and land combat vehicles.

• Kerr Engineering (WA) receiving $575,350 to install a high-speed double column milling machine to enable the manufacture, refurbishment and repair of complex specialist steel components used in defence shipbuilding and ship maintenance.

• Rud Chains (QLD) receiving $491,787 to acquire a robotic welder with a positional rotator for 9-axis complex welding of heavy lift and lashing products up to 1 tonne for use with military vehicles and trailers.

• Aerobond (SA) receiving $354,053 to establish a Defence Radome Transmissivity Centre that will enable testing of radomes that protect antennas used on aircraft or maritime platforms for purposes such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting, communications or weather monitoring.

• NDE Solutions (SA) receiving $252,221 to assemble and commission a low-profile mechanical scanning tool for non-intrusive testing of high-risk componentry within limited access areas on submarines and for future shipbuilding programs.

• Armor Australia (NSW) receiving $150,000 to acquire and commission a materials treatment technology used to improve the quality of personal body and platform armour.

• Masters & Young (QLD) receiving $150,000 to procure and commission a 3D automated optical inspection system for precision evaluation of printed circuit boards used in a range of defence aviation, sensing and communications systems.

• Gilmour Space Technologies (QLD) receiving $148,862 to acquire and commission a Zone 4 secure container to support the security requirements associated with international client space projects.

• Mack Valves (VIC) receiving $136,753 to acquire, install and commission a computer numerical control vertical machining centre with associated tooling for use in manufacturing valves required for defence maritime platforms including patrol boats, frigates and submarines.

Grant opportunity guidelines and the sample application form which describe the application requirements for the DIDG program, have been published at www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs and on GrantConnect.

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