Exail.comQueensland manufacturer Craig International Ballistics will supply ballistic protection windows for the first three Hunter class frigates under an agreement with BAE Systems Maritime Australia.

The Gold Coast-based company has secured a contract to provide transparent armour on each of the anti-submarine warfare warships being built for the Royal Australian Navy as part of the Hunter class frigate Program.

A supplier of ballistic protection to the Australian Defence Force and police forces, Craig International Ballistics will manufacture dozens of windows for each vessel, as well as the frames for the windows and the wiper systems. Each of the six window types will have unique protective qualities, including ballistic protection, fire retardant properties and noise reduction.

Craig International Ballistics is the latest Australian company to be awarded a contract to supply products and services for the Hunter Class Frigate Program. This is another example of BAE Systems working with Australian suppliers, which now amounts to over 60 per cent Australian Contract Expenditure (ACE) contribution in only the early design and prototyping phase of the contract.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia is working to increase the resilience, capability and capacity of the nation’s defence industry by partnering with small and medium enterprises, in line with the Commonwealth’s recently released Defence Industry Development Strategy.

Craig Lockhart, Managing Director, BAE Systems Australia – Maritime, said: “We’re committed to maximising Australian industry participation in this truly national shipbuilding endeavour. The Hunter class frigates will be among the most advanced and capable warships in the world and companies such as Craig International Ballistics will deliver cutting edge equipment to these warships which maintains its stealth capabilities and well as significantly improving its survivability. The Hunter program has embedded a truly sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding capability across Australia, ensuring we have the know-how to design, build and sustain our own warships.”

James Craig, Chief Executive Officer, Craig International Ballistics, said: “Craig International Ballistics is delighted to supply transparent armour and wiper systems for the Hunter class frigates currently being built in Australia. As an Australian manufacturer of ballistic protection solutions, we take great pride in providing BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Navy with high-quality products that are specifically designed to safeguard our Navy personnel. Craig International Ballistics continues to make a significant investment in research and development and processing plant and equipment to remain a market leader, and to continue to provide our war fighters with the best possible ballistic protection. Our whole team is very proud of the work we do here on the Gold Coast, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with BAE Systems and the Australian Defence Force.”

Award recognises contribution of shipbuilding chief
The managing director of BAE Systems Australia’s Maritime business has been awarded the Australian Naval Institute’s McNeil Prize for 2024. The McNeil Prize, which was awarded to Craig Lockhart during a ceremony in Canberra, recognises an industry professional for an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Craig Lockhart has spent 40 years working in national naval shipbuilding and sustainment programs in the United Kingdom and Australia. In his role overseeing BAE Systems Australia’s maritime capabilities, including the Hunter Class Frigate Program and sustainment programs for the RAN’s ANZAC class frigates, the Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers and with his previous nuclear experience, he is now supporting the AUKUS program. In this capacity, Craig Lockhart has played a key part in the evolution of Continuous Naval Shipbuilding in Australia.

Ben Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems Australia, said: “This award rightly recognises the pivotal role that Craig has played in shaping the future of Australia’s maritime defence. Under Craig’s stewardship, the Osborne Naval Shipyard has flourished into a hub of innovation, shaping the foundation of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding capability.”

Lockhart said, “Receiving the McNeil Prize is a tremendous honour and a testament to the collective efforts of the whole team at BAE Systems’ maritime operations. Every day we work to protect those who protect us and this award underscores the importance of our mission.”

Commodore Peter Leavy, President, Australian Naval Institute, said: “Craig Lockhart’s exceptional leadership, outstanding professional expertise and drive have tangibly assisted the development of a world-class sovereign ship building capability in Australia both with the development of the Hunter class frigates and the sustainment program for the Hobart class destroyers.”


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