• ATS has applied an end user focus designed to address capability needs. Credit: ATS
    ATS has applied an end user focus designed to address capability needs. Credit: ATS

Australian Target Systems (ATS), an Albury and Queanbeyan based SME, was announced the winner of the Defence Industry Export Award at the 2017 NSW Exporter Awards held in Sydney last week.

The award was in recognition of ATS’ supply of products and services to the world’s largest range contract for the construction of 34 military ranges in the United Arab Emirates. In delivering the contract, ATS has also stimulated the defence industry in the Albury/Wodonga region through partnerships and contracts with local SME’s.

The ADF and policing community will also reap the benefits of ATS’ experience and product development as a result of the UAE contract, according to ATS COO Lee Bath.

“Those ranges are world’s best practice, based on a training needs led approach to range design, leading edge technology and adult learning training methods”.

ATS is now one of the most experienced companies in the live fire target system business. Dating back to 1950, the company has a long history of targetry software development, and installation and maintenance of Defence live fire ranges. A change in ownership in 2012 resulted in a rapid transformation of the company’s value proposition and footprint. What was a staff of nine based in Albury has increased to 71 employees in Australia and the UAE; and nearly 100 subcontractors in the UAE.

Under the leadership of owner and former soldier Paul Burns, ATS has applied an end user focus designed to address capability needs and has worked to expand ATS products and services to meet this need. The aim is to “enhance the judicious lethality and survivability of the Australian soldier in combat,” Bath said. “ATS is striving to provide this through the delivery of realistic and immersive training using realistic targetry effects, leading edge range designs and enhanced facility management.”  

Bath explained that seeking strong partnerships with like-minded Australian and foreign companies has been a key ingredient in ATS’s turnaround over the past 5 years. ATS has a strong partnership with Swiss targetry company Polytronic, and with Australian design and construction firms in order to provide holistic solutions to live fire training.

ATS is in the process of seeking approval to establish a live field firing range near Collector NSW, in order to sustain business development. They are also broadening their products and services to help meet the needs of the Police and other government agencies.

In presenting the awards, NSW Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said exporters bring the ideas, ambition and can-do attitude that the state economy needed in order to grow.

“This Government knows how important our exporters are - that’s why we have staff across the state dedicated to helping these businesses grow or to export for the first time. It’s also terrific to see four regional winners amongst the state’s most enterprising export businesses, proving that geography is no barrier to international success.”

Runners up were UAV Vision of Port Macquarie and Quickstep Technologies of Bankstown. UAV Vision designs tests, manufactures and supports gimballed camera systems which can be fitted to unmanned and manned aircraft, surface vehicles and stationary installations. Quickstep of course is the global supplier to the JSF program for vertical tail and centre fuselage composite components and is also heavily invested in the automotive and other advanced sectors.

The Premier’s NSW Export Awards are led by the Export Council of Australia with support from the NSW Government. The State’s export sector generates more than $81 billion in sales of goods and services to world markets each year.

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