In development for Australia’s defence industry, Aerobond, a specialised manufacturer in advanced composite and sheet metal manufacturing, has secured a strategic contract with Kongsberg Defence Australia, a player in defence solutions. 

The partnership will see Aerobond take on the production of launcher canisters for the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) programme, a project chosen by the Commonwealth of Australia to bolster its maritime strike capabilities. 

Aerobond will establish a dedicated defence-focused entity, Aerobond Defence, to enhance Australian manufacturing content as part of this collaboration. This contract contributes to developing a robust sovereign-guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise, fortifying Australia’s self-reliance in defence technology and production.

The initial naval strike missile contract from the Australian government was initially awarded to just Kongsberg in June this year. In the same month, the US Navy showed the missile’s popularity by putting in a new naval strike missile order for the US Navy’s over-the-horizon weapon system (OTH WS).

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By GlobalData

Australia’s decision to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile capability with the advanced NSM in 2022 set the stage for this partnership. Aerobond and Kongsberg’s contract enhances Australia’s maritime defence capabilities, particularly for the Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac class frigates and Hobart class destroyers.

Aerobond’s dedication to the cause is evident in their plans to establish a purpose-built 3,500 sqm facility in Adelaide to manufacture NSM launcher canisters. The company aims to create and recruit an additional 35 roles in South Australia.

Justin Struik, the founder and managing director of Aerobond, expressed his excitement about the contract. Struik affirmed, “We look forward to working with the team at Kongsberg and delivering exceptional quality to support the Royal Australian Navy in safeguarding our nation.”

Norway-based Kongsberg has a history of supplying naval strike missiles (NSM) to strategic military powers worldwide. At the end of last year, Kongsberg and NDMA signed an indigenous deal to provide more NSMs to Norway and Germany in a joint procurement initiative. 

As production gears up to commence in January 2024, the Aerobond-Kongsberg venture contributes to national security and showcases the country’s capability to engage in advanced manufacturing that propels its defence sector to new heights.