Sydney company GME, currently a leading manufacturer of civilian communications equipment, has unveiled a $5 million high security Zone 4 manufacturing facility aimed at diversifying to support a wide range of defence industry projects.
The facility at the company’s Western Sydney headquarters was opened on 9 May by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who said the high-tech operation would significantly enhance Australia’s sovereign defence manufacturing capability with its automated production of printed circuit boards.
The 62-year-old privately-owned company currently manufactures a wide range of hand-held and fixed mount UHF radios, emergency beacons and antenna and employs 230 personnel. GME currently produces more than 40,000 products per month and annual turnover is more than $100 million, 10 per cent of which is devoted to research and development.
CEO Stephen Millar told ADM the new printed circuit board capability was possibly the country’s largest, and involved investment of $4 million by GME and a further $1 million from Defence’s sovereign industrial capability program.
“We’ve been investigating the defence sector for several years, what’s required, who makes what, how decisions are made, and the Zone 4 facility is the outcome," he said.
“We’re looking to support international primes to meet Australian Industry Content and get some experience behind us. We’ve already been approached by three primes wanting information on what we can do, we’re discussing a specific program which I can’t disclose, and we’ve done some work for C4Edge.
“And we already have our own engineering, technical design and manufacturing capabilities for making our own products”.