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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is seeking to reform the acquisition and sustainment of ADF clothing through the Future Clothing Systems (FCS) program. ADA, the leading provider of managed clothing services in Australia aims to "push the envelope” with innovative solutions that exceed the strategic requirements of the reform’s intent.

ADA invites Australian Industry, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to register interest in collaborating with ADA in developing a competitive and innovative proposal supporting ADF’s vision for clothing system reform. ADA has long provided the ADF with standard combat uniforms, non-combat clothing, combat undergarments, flyers uniforms and wet weather clothing. The ongoing onshore manufacture of the standard combat uniforms means ADA is the largest supplier of locally-made apparel in support of the ADF.

ADA has not achieved this success alone: a broad and diverse base of skilled supply chain partners have been key to ADA’s solutions for the ADF. These relationships have given ADA a great appreciation for the critical importance of committed support of Australian industry that fosters investment in onshore capability. ADA intends to maximise sovereign capability to deliver a transformative and scalable future clothing management solution to realise the ADF’s desired clothing system reform.

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ADA’s commitment to local industry capability is fostered by the appointment of a dedicated Australian Industry Capability Manager, David Frith. David’s role is to oversee the strategic priorities in engaging suppliers and industry networks within the Australian market. The role will focus on leading ADA’s engagement with Australian Industry partners to identify growth opportunities for participating industries through ADA’s current and future activities.

David has over 30 years of experience in Defence, including 22 years as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy, where he saw active service in Somalia. Over this time, David gained extensive experience in procurement and contracting in both CASG and JLC, where he worked closely with a range of Defence industry partners. Many of his roles were responsible for providing direct support to the ADF’s raise, train and sustainment functions and operations through the delivery of equipment and services within Australia and to ADF elements deployed overseas on operations in Timor Leste and the Middle East.

“I am excited about this opportunity to deliver Defence innovative solutions for the Future Clothing System. This can only be achieved through leveraging on ADA’s current Australian Industry supply chain with the view of expanding these arrangements to a range of other Australian suppliers. We look forward to engaging with industry to harness their knowledge and experience to offer Defence the best value for money commercial solutions to meet their future requirements.” says Frith.

ADA’s proven pedigree in the delivery of Clothing Systems has evolved over many years through the successful delivery of programs to a range of government and corporate customers. More recently, ADA secured the New Zealand Defence Force wearables supply and managed services contract to provide world class apparel solutions to the men and women of the Army, Navy and Airforce.

“We have been providing end-to-end managed service solutions to large government organisations for many years. More than 350,000 frontline personnel around Australia rely on ADA for the timely supply of clothing in support of their occupations. We believe this is our chance to bring future-focused, technologies, infrastructure, and services we have been supplying for several clients back to base. We are excited by the opportunity to be part of this step change in clothing systems for the Defence force and look forward to supplying technology to revolutionise how we manage uniforms.” says Chris Dixon, CEO, Australian Defence Apparel (ADA).  

RFI released by ADF closes on 20th October 2021. Suppliers are encouraged to submit their interest to work with ADA on https://www.ada.com.au/apparelsystems  or contact via email at apparelsystems@ada.com.au.

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