The Composites Advantage: Building Sovereign Manufacturing Capabilities

November 8, 2021

Australia’s Defence Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group was among high level speakers at the recent “Composites Advantage” webinar, co-hosted by the Geelong Manufacturing Council (GMC), in collaboration with DMTC Ltd and the Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong (AFCG).

The session was developed out of a 2021 report commissioned by DMTC that identified significant capabilities in carbon fibre and composite manufacturing across Australian industry and academia.

Brigadier Shaun Hoffman, Director General of Land Manoeuvre Systems, defined Defence’s concept of “sovereign capability” and emphasised CASG’s commitment to help Australian SMEs crack into the defence market.

Prof Martin Veidt of DMTC and the University of Queensland highlighted the key comparative advantages of composites in defence applications, as well as options for hybridisation to improve cost-effectiveness and other characteristics.

David Doral, CTO & Head of Engineering at Quickstep shared opportunities and challenges in defence and commercial aerospace supply chain. He said new markets such as urban air mobility, electric vehicles and space were showing promise for composite companies. Quickstep is the largest composites solutions provider in Australia.

The DMTC study, completed by Bremer and Co and the AFCG, found several challenges for Australian industry, in particular issues related to the lack of scale of SMEs involved in the defence supply chain.

DMTC’s Charlotte Morris provided a briefing on the DMTC’s Industry Capability Development program and encouraged participants to share input on the structure and emphasis of a future benchmarking project.

The session was a collaboration between DMTC LtdAdvanced Fibre Cluster Geelong and Geelong Manufacturing Council.