Austal Australia has announced it is joining a consortium comprising Australian defence industry partners, academia, and government organisations.

Under the consortium, Austal Australia will support a new collaboration platform known as the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC).

AMC is a fully owned subsidiary of Australian-owned weapons and munitions supplier NIOA.

It aims to form a sovereign guided missile manufacturing enterprise in Australia.

In March, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s plan to create a new enterprise to support missile and guided weapons manufacturing in the country for use across the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Last month, the government issued a request for information (RFI) for expressions of interest to support a A$1bn Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEOE).

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The other companies that are part of the AMC consortium are Quickstep, Black Sky Aerospace, Thomas Global Systems, and Moog Australia.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said that the company’s partnership with AMC shows its commitment to developing a sovereign capability in Australia.

Gregg said: “Austal has a proven track record of effective collaboration with not only Australian industry, but academia and government, to deliver effective defence capability, such as the current Guardian and Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Programs; and we’re proud to support the Australian Missile Corporation’s bid to establish a sovereign missile manufacturing enterprise here in Australia.”

The Sovereign GWEOE is aimed at improving Australia’s self-reliance, with its long-term aim to develop a sovereign-guided weapons manufacturing capability.

It comprises elements such as manufacturing, research and development (R&D), test and evaluation, maintenance and repair, as well as storage and distribution.

NIOA and AMC chief executive officer Robert Nioa said: “The expertise of a great Australian business such as Austal, with its world-leading insights, skills and enthusiasm, will be critical to the AMC in this formative stage.

“As a trusted part of the defence industry for more than 30 years, they share our goal of strengthening the nation’s sovereign capability while supporting the ADF.’’