South Australian advanced engineering and construction company, Novafast Holdings, has launched an Australian-first defence manufacturing capability for composite production.
The company has developed a world-leading robotic technique to manufacture advanced and automated composite piping and fittings to be used within large scale defence manufacturing, which will be delivered within a state-of-the-art $4 million facility.
The new site was officially opened on Tuesday 28 June by Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Susan Close.
In 2021, Novafast was awarded a $2 million Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) grant to invest in the robotic technology.
Novafast Business Manager David Figallo said the new technology is a significant boost for Australia’s defence industry.
“As the only Australian-based manufacturer of GRE composite pipes, Novafast aims to be the global leader in composite technologies and production processes using our advanced automated production processes,” said Mr Figallo.
“At a time when Australia is facing increasing uncertainty in the region, it positions us as a key sovereign capability industry partner, and we’re delighted to have the partnership of BAE Systems to undertake this work in Australia.”
Mr Figallo explained the technology will be utilised with BAE Systems Australia on the Hunter Class Frigate program and will create a range of new roles for the industry.
“Novafast is utilising its composite pipe technology, developed internally by our Research & development team, to support the representative ship blocks that are being constructed as part of the Hunter program’s prototyping phase,” he said.
“The facility has already created 15 highly skilled roles and is projected to have created more than 25 roles by late 2023 as the first batch of ships go into production.”
BAE Systems Australia’s Managing Director – Maritime, Craig Lockhart, explained the company is committed to working with local industry as the supply chain is key to the success of the nation’s independent sovereign capability.
“By engaging local businesses, we are supporting and creating Australian jobs, and building an enduring sovereign capability that will support our country’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy for future generations.”
Learn more about Novafast
Image: David Figallo, Charles Figallo, The Hon. Susan Close MP, Craig Lockhart (BAE Systems Australia) and Paul Figallo. (L-R)