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AUSTRALIAN parts manufacturer Australian Performance Vehicles (APV) has announced it has secured a contract to supply the North American defence market with OEM military restraint seatbelts.

APV has been awarded the contract by American armour supplier ArmorWorks Enterprises, and will provide 1000 Australian-designed and manufactured energy and blast absorbing restraints for use in the North American market and with the US Marines.

The Australian parts-maker has experience with military supplies, having provided services for companies such as Thales Australia and its Bushmaster armoured vehicle and the Navistar MaxxPro in the US.

Strap in: APV has been awarded a contract to supply military-spec seatbelt harnesses to American manufacturers.

Having previously manufacturer parts for Australian-built vehicles such as the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry, APV now exports around 190,000 units per annum around the globe, with roughly 140,000 of those headed to North America.

Its automotive components division closed in 2012 after going into receivership as another casualty of the Australian automotive manufacturing decline, however it continues to provide various safety components including seatbelts, harnesses, snatch straps and tow straps.

Since 2011, APV has manufactured more than 25,000 military restraints, and currently employs 45 personnel out of its factory in Campbellfield, Victoria, just down the road from Ford’s Broadmeadows plant.

APV managing director Harry Hickling said the ArmorWorks contract has been years in the making.

Christopher Pyne

“I am proud of our track record in protecting Australian and US troops in the world’s most advanced military vehicles that are adopting the highest levels of safety and survivability,” he said.
“I especially want to thank ArmorWorks for their support, our suppliers and the APV Team. These contracts are years in the making and rely on us all to perform at the highest levels of engineering, quality, delivery and price performance.”

The announcement was made by federal minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne, who said the contract showed the diversity of APV to move from passenger vehicle to defence vehicle parts manufacturing.

“This success is yet another win for Australia’s defence industry, and demonstrates the innovation and global competitiveness of our small to medium enterprises,” Mr Pyne said.

“APV formerly supplied the Australian car industry, and so this is a great example of an automotive business diversifying into other industries and it is exciting to see an Australian company playing a key role in keeping Australian and US troops safe in front-line combat vehicles.”

According to Mr Pyne, APV’s involvement in the Global Supply Chain (GSC) program, implemented by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, has helped small to medium-sized Australian businesses secure global contracts.

“To date, the participating GSC primes have awarded close to $1 billion of work to predominantly small-to-medium sized enterprises in Australia,” he said.

“This work has been won on merit, highlighting the strength and innovative capabilities of Australian companies.”

By Robbie Wallis

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