Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Senator Sandy Macdonald, has today witnessed a demonstration of a new ballistic material that could enhance protection for Australian soldiers in the future.
Senator Macdonald was visiting the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) where the Australian Defence Apparel company displayed samples of the ballistic material being developed under the Capability & Technology Demonstrator Program.
The Lightweight Ballistic Armour project is applying a number of new ceramic and composite materials and fabrication technologies to produce lightweight, low-cost, high-performance helmet and body armour for Australia's Defence personnel.
Senator Macdonald said Defence was working with industry to develop the most suitable equipment and materials that would improve safety for Australian soldiers.
"We are constantly striving to introduce new capabilities that will reduce the burden on our soldiers and allow them to operate more effectively and safely, and this development shows promise in that direction," he said.
The Lightweight Ballistic Armour project is a collaborative arrangement between the Department of Defence, Australian Defence Apparel Pty Ltd., CSIRO and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing of Deakin University.
The Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program was established in 1998 to enable industry to demonstrate how advanced technology can provide significant enhancement in priority areas of Defence capability.
Senator Macdonald said since 1998 the government had invested more than $140 million in the CTD program. There are now 35 active CTD projects being developed.
"The government funds up to $26 million each year on this program to encourage companies to come forward with proposals that can enhance Defence capabilities," Senator Macdonald said.