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APV hosts BAE Land 400 Industry Consultation Forum

- Tuesday, June 07, 2016

APV hosts BAE Land 400 Industry Consultation Forum, June 2nd 2016.

In the early hours of Thursday Morning the BAE Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) stealthily made its way to APV's secure industrial testing facility in Melbourne to be unveiled to Industry. This surprisingly agile vehicle positioned itself within the industrial backdrop of the APV Test Centre to welcome a cross section of industry leaders to our facilities at Campbellfield.

The Test Centre is of course Australia's leading Dynamic, Environmental and Industrial Test Lab and the most advanced testing Lab of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, APV specialises in dynamic and industrial testing. Completing testing on behalf of ANCAP, The Automotive Industry, Defence Contractors, Helicopter Seating, Child Seats, Wheel Chairs, Restraint Systems, Cargo Retention, Advanced High Speed Photography and Data Acquisition along with a myriad of advanced manufacturing and aerospace applications. It is an exciting environment where we see first hand Industry from around the world at the leading edge of technology.

So, It was with great pleasure that we could host such an event, both supporting future Australian industry participation with Land 400, but also to demonstrate APV's capabilities to Industry.

APV's business is all about Occupant Safety, Survivability and Industrial Testing. In the context of Land Military Vehicles this is all about keeping the Soldier Safe during front line operations.

We are the Market Leader in the design and manufacture of restraint systems for Military Land Vehicles in both the Nth American and Australian markets having produced 35,000 Military Harnesses over the past 5 yrs. Supplementing our 100,000 per annum specialist occupant restraint production across our other markets.

APV restraints and the seating within the Aust Bushmaster and US Navistar Fleet kept American and Aust soldiers safe during the Afghanistan conflict with no loss of life of any personnel wearing an APV military restraint within these frontline vehicles. A track record that APV, Navistar, Thales and associated seat manufacturers are extremely proud of.

Today, Survivability within front line operations has become a primary consideration in vehicle design and APV's business is firmly positioned within this market internationally.

With 200 people attending the event, representing some of Australia's leading industrial and manufacturing companies, this was a great opportunity for all involved to understand the opportunities that Land 400 would provide.

BAE and ourselves had invited a cross section of industry from our networks and via the Industry Associations. It is my belief that Australia has the manufacturing strength and capability to produce these vehicles locally and this was my underlying message for the day. So much so, that a Services Company had to ask, "What about me?". Whilst there is ample room for these guys, I am singularly of the view that Australian industry has the opportunity to prove itself here as both internationally competitive, but also well capably of building these vehicles locally.

By strengthening Australian manufacturing capability within Australia with projects such as Land 400, diversified companies such as ourselves will be better placed to compete internationally in the future. And by working together, regardless of geography all of industry will benefit.

BAE certainly took up this challenge during the day. Allowing industry to see the vehicle first hand, identifying the opportunities for local manufacture and registering their interest with the BAE team.

Similarly, but on a much smaller scale, we laid out a display of componentry that we source from Overseas to provide opportunities for industry to localise - many of which are at volumes of 100,000 p.a.

Clearly, there was excitement in the room. Perhaps a unique sense of what can be achieved.

As exciting, was also the networking opportunity for industry as we all examined the elements of the vehicle and during the industry tours of APV's facilities. This was a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet in an industrial environment, to strengthen our networks and in turn by working together into the future - forming core capabilities of Australia's future Advanced Manufacturing Environment.

Whilst, not currently part of Land 400, I am confident that we will see significant and important testing work performed here at the Test Centre on behalf of industry for Land 400. After all we understand this environment better than any.

Due to the original Land 400 objective of procuring a proven Military Off the Shelf vehicle, it is difficult for us to provide Military Harnesses into the platform - despite us being the Market Leaders in this field. For this to occur the Australian Government and the Primes, must allow for time and therefore cost during the design phase to substitute our harnesses into the Survivability Package of the vehicle. Here we are working at a Systems Level and any change requires recertification and blast testing - I hope that after hosting the Industry Forum that the message reaches the key decision makers that Australia has the capability to manufacture this locally, and surely it will be a lost opportunity not to consider companies such as ours for core components of the build - when we have already proven ourselves as internationally competitive and market leaders in our respective fields.

In closing, I sincerely wish to thank BAE Systems for this opportunity to host their event. As an Australian Small Business (SME), it was certainly a great privilege and we wish them ever success with their proposal for Land 400 and to build these vehicles in Australia.

Harry Hickling
Managing Director


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