Gold Coast company Craig International Ballistics has won a contract to deliver Australian-manufactured soft body armour to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The announcement by Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the initial $1 million contract will see the ADF receive 750 soft armour inserts to replace in-service armour.

It said the new soft-armour inserts was pioneering, “world-first body armour technology” that will provide superior protection and greater comfort for Australian troops.

“Craig International Ballistics is able to deliver this technology through the innovative use of new materials,” Minister Price said.

“The Australian Army will be the first military in the world to be issued body armour made with this new Kevlar material.”

It added that the new armour will deliver greater levels of protection and be significantly lighter than the current soft armour.

The company has also previously provided tiered protection element for the Australian Army’s Soldier Combat Ensemble, which consists of hard ballistic plates, soft armour inserts and additional extremity protection and inserts that protect against spike and stab threats that go into the plate carriers of the soldiers’ ballistic vests.

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Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.

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