Australia’s first combat helmet upgrade program starts in Victoria

Department of Defence

Joint statement:

  • Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety & Multicultural Affairs, Member for La Trobe, the Hon Jason Wood MP

A Melbourne company has won an historic $35 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s combat helmets.

The five-year deal with Aquaterro will create 10 highly skilled, technical jobs at the company in Melbourne’s south-east.

It is the first time the tiered combat helmet built by United States company Team Wendy has been refurbished outside the US.

The helmet provides the men and women of the Australian Defence Force with protection against ballistic, fragmentation and blunt force trauma, incorporating a ballistic protection shell, suspension and retention systems, and accessory mounts and rails.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated Aquaterro for winning the $7 million a year contract, which has seen it establish Australia’s first combat helmet refurbishment and upgrade program.

“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.

“Aquaterro’s work in establishing this program will help ensure the ADF has the best available capability to defend Australia and its national interests.”

With the majority of required spare parts manufactured in Australia, work on the helmets started in July at Aquaterro’s purpose-built facility in Pakenham.

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”.

Aquaterro has more than 40 employees and supplies tactical and safety equipment to state, territory and federal law enforcement and border protection agencies, as well as the ADF.

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