Craig International Ballistics has been awarded an important contract to provide advanced armour protection for the Australian Army’s new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopters.

Five sets of removable armour will be supplied which will provide protection to the cockpit and main cabin area of the Army’s Chinook helicopters to protect the crew and passengers from any small arms fire encountered during combat operations. To meet this need, Craig International Ballistics has developed in-house an advanced new design for helicopter ballistic protection armour that is considerably lighter, thinner and potentially more durable than similar armour panels fitted previously. This complex design carefully integrates Honeywell Spectra Shield® composite fibre materials with boron carbide ceramics and Rhino Linings REXAR protective coatings. Given their critical importance to saving lives, the armour panels have been rigorously tested and independently certified as meeting the highest Australian and International standards.

Craig International Ballistic’s strong focus on continuous innovation to meet the Army’s demands for the most effective ballistic protection armour is matched by the company’s emphasis on smart manufacturing. Craig International Ballistics has created a state-of-the-art facility at Arundel in Queensland that includes digital conveyorised cutting equipment, x-ray equipment, computer controlled machines and heavy-duty hydraulic presses. With its highly skilled workforce of more than thirty engineers, technicians, machine operators and support staff this modern facility produced some 150,000 ballistic protection products last year. Craig International Ballistic’s strong investment in smart manufacturing continues with a new automated hydraulic press recently installed to support production of the company’s advanced ballistic armour for the Chinook helicopter and other military aircraft.

This latest Australian Army contract is particularly important to Craig International Ballistics in being from one of the world’s most professional armies. CEO James Craig notes that: “the Australian Army has exceptionally demanding operational requirements. Being able to meet these reflects the unique capabilities our company has built up to be able to continually innovate and then efficiently manufacture affordable leading-edge ballistic protection armour.”

Craig International Ballistics is the foremost Australian manufacturer of lightweight protective armour systems. Since 1999, the company’s products have protected Australian Defence Force personnel – including Australia’s elite Special Forces – on combat operations in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. Craig International Ballistics is also the largest Australian supplier of police-style protective body armour with some 40,000 armour sets produced for Australian and international police forces and security organisations.