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In this episode, Grant McHerron and Ewen Levick talk with Robert Inches, CEO of PFG Group, and Rear Admiral (ret) Steven Gilmore, Defence Advocate within the Tasmanian state government, about PFG's work with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), their watercraft and their recent contract with the Royal New Zealand Navy.
We start the episode with a review of PFG's history, their products and the Sentinel tactical watercraft. We also look at Tasmania's challenging sea conditions and the importance of the ocean to many of the state's industries.
The discussion then moves to the properties of HDPE and the benefits it brings to vessels made from this material along with PFG's 25 years of experience building HDPE boats. Robert then talks about some of their existing clients and the experiences and successes they've had using PFG's boats.
Robert then confirms that PFG have recently signed a contract with the Royal New Zealand Navy to provide them with Sentinel watercraft, leading to the company hiring more people and achieving their goal of becoming a Defence provider. He also provides advice for SMEs looking to engage with Defence based on the lessons they have learned to date.
Steven notes that this contract demonstrates the benefits Tasmania can provide for Defence work, ranging from working with Primes through to supplying whole of capability where suitable. He then provides information about the specific benefits HDPE craft can provide in a Defence environment, including easier in-situ repairs than other materials and its suitability for mine counter measures, hydrographic survey and covert operations.
We wrap the episode with a discussion of the in-roads PFG is making with the Australian Defence Force and their involvement with autonomous water vessel projects.
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Hosted by Grant McHerron
Producer - Steve Visscher
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