Sydney-based company Bellinger Instruments closed on 30 June this year after 52 years of operations, but has swiftly risen once more as Bellinger Systems.
The old company, founded by former scientific instrument maker at RAAF Wagga Wagga John Stewart McAlpine, specialised in maintaining equipment ranging from gyros to ECM systems such as Navy's AN/SLQ32, as well as tactical data links, IFF systems, radios, barometers and fire control systems.
Over that time, Bellinger Instruments was responsible for Navy's Seahawk helicopter night vision upgrades; Link-16 design and installation for the Anzac-class frigates; design, supply and installation of Wide Area Differential GPS systems on all mine warfare and hydrographic vessels; and the design and build of portable Link-22 tactical data link systems providing beyond line-of-sight communications.
“Bellinger Instruments was owned by a single man who created and supported [the company] for over 52 years,” General Manager David Hartshorne said to ADM. “During that time Bellinger Instruments became a vital cog in the support of defence equipment and systems that would otherwise have been replaced due to a lack of OEM support.
“The final decision [to close] was made due to a downturn in work, making the company’s business plan unviable.”
According to Hartshorne, Bellinger Systems will retain most of the test equipment, IT systems, IP (including databases and historic data), documentation, staff and facilities from the old company, but will now focus on electronics and communications.
“Probably the largest challenge has been the re-instatement of all of the agreements and alliances,” Hartshorne said. “These are all being addressed and the usual financial issues such as cashflow and invoicing are being carefully managed.”
The company currently has a number of communication projects running in relation to Link-22, and the re-brand has evidently brought financial success.
“The first year turnover is already exceeding initial projections and we expect rapid growth into the future,” Hartshorne said. “Currently we have 15 permanent and enthusiastic staff that have remained with the new company and we are looking at imminent expansion.
“The new business plan is focussed toward sustained growth over the coming years and the excellent team we have in place is committed to a very bright future.”