NIOA, the largest Australian-owned supplier of weapons and munitions to the Australian Defence Force, has announced the creation of a new business as Australia moves to manufacture its own guided missiles.
CEO Robert Nioa said the Australian Missile Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NIOA, was formed to ‘’facilitate collaboration between government, industry, academia’’ in response to the Federal Government’s plan to invest $1b in domestic missile production.
The Sovereign Guided Missile Enterprise, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on March 31, is part of a $270b spend over the next decade to beef up Australia’s defence forces, including high-tech submarines, new fighter jets, hypersonic weapons, and advanced munitions.
Defence will select an experienced strategic industry partner to build and operate the facility which will produce a suite of advanced missiles that can travel at five times the speed of sound. It estimates the new national enterprise could be worth up to $40b over the next two decades, creating 2000 jobs at various locations across the country.
Queensland-based NIOA is leading the local industry push through the government’s ‘’Smart Buyer’’ process.
‘’NIOA is strongly aligned with the Commonwealth Government’s mission to accelerate sovereign industrial capability and we are excited about this next phase,’’ Mr Nioa said.
‘’As we have seen over the past 12 months with the COVID19 pandemic, it’s prudent for Australia to be more self-reliant.
‘’Defence is a manufacturing sector with enormous opportunity for growth. Investing in capabilities that assure supply of weapons for ADF is not only critical for the nation’s security, but it will create jobs and new business opportunities.’’
Mr Nioa said the Australian Missile Corporation would pull together the capabilities of key strategic partners.
‘’Since the Prime Minister’s announcement, many companies (international Primes and Australian SMEs alike) have contacted NIOA seeking guidance as to how best they could participate in the future guided weapons enterprise,’’ Mr Nioa said.
‘’Building upon our experience as Australia’s No.1 Defence Prime, NIOA’s response has been to establish the Australian Missile Corporation as a team of like-minded Defence organisations willing and able to support the new enterprise.’’
Mr Nioa said potential stakeholders could register their interest on the AMC website australianmissilecorporation.com.au or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in regional Queensland in 1973, NIOA is investing $130m in domestic munitions and explosives manufacturing over the next five years, including a $60m artillery shell forging plant in Maryborough, Queensland with joint-venture partner Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions, an upgrade of the Commonwealth Government-owned Benalla munitions plant in Victoria and an $11m expansion of its Brisbane warehouse and distribution facility.
The company recently secured Stage 1 of Tranche 1 of the LAND 159 program to modernise the Army’s weapons systems and in 2018 was awarded the $100m LAND17 – 1C.2 future artillery ammunition contract.