East Gippsland company ZCG has received a contract to supply high-end antennas for Defence as part of the Redwing suite of technology designed to keep troops safe from explosions in the field.
The advanced troop protection system, designed by the Defence Science and Technology Group and manufactured by L3 Micreo in Brisbane, includes custom-made antennas, designed, tested and manufactured at ZCG’s Lindenow head office.
The locally made antennas are a critical component of the Redwing troop-protection devices specifically designed for use by Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces, including troops on foot and mounted in light vehicles.
“The ZCG technical team spent six months last year working with our partners in Defence to develop antennas for devices that block radio-frequency transmission so enemy combatants can’t remotely trigger improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” ZCG managing director Garry Kelly said.
“Our antennas play an important role in keeping troops safe from IEDs in conflict zones around the world.”
ZCG provides mobile antennas for a wide range of uses, including on vehicles and the marine industry, in base stations for police and emergency towers, autonomous mining trucks, as well as broadcast antennas for radio and TV channels.
This is the second time the company has worked with Defence and L3 Micreo on the Redwing project.
“Over the past two years, we have supplied more than 150,000 antennas, on time and on budget, for the first version of this technology,” Mr Kelly said.
“But this contract takes our business to a whole new level. As a small rural enterprise, we had to step up and increase our capability so we were eligible to win larger, more complex defence contracts.”
MP for Gippsland Darren Chester, who is also Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, commended Garry and Sally-Anne Kelly from ZCG for their continued commitment to Gippsland.
He said ZCG was an example of business being able to thrive from a regional base.
“It is essential for local companies such as ZCG to win major contracts, which help secure jobs, strengthen Australia’s capabilities and ensure the security of technology,” Minister Chester said. “ZCG employs 20 people in Gippsland and winning this contract is a wonderful achievement and reward for all their hard work."
“When I had the opportunity to visit some of our troops in Afghanistan I was pleased to learn the locally-made product was already saving lives among Coalition forces in their battles with the Taliban.”