Who WE ARE
Over the last 20 years, Craig International Ballistics (CIB) has become the leading Australian manufacturer of combat-proven armour systems. This was publicly recognized by the Minister for Defence Industry awarding the 2019 Essington Lewis Award to CIB and its Australian Defence Department project office partner. With company and customer working closely together, over 20,000 innovative leading-edge body armour sets were designed, manufactured and delivered on time and on budget.
Craig International has now supplied more than 350,000 soft armour inserts, hard ballistic plates and training products to the ADF, including to its Special Operations Command units. CIB further exports body armour and panels to South East Asian and Oceania countries with new interest emerging from Europe. Beyond military users, CIB has become a supplier of choice for body armour and tactical ballistic shields from police forces and security companies locally and overseas.
CIB’s winning of large orders, frequently from repeat customers, reflects the deep expertise the company has in high-quality composite ballistic panel manufacture and its specialist skills in onsite armour plate pressing, water jet cutting and plate coatings. Using these skills, the company has expanded beyond personal protection into developing armour for land force protected mobility vehicles, naval frigates, military transport aircraft and helicopters.
Such diverse applications means new customised designs are often necessary, such as when devising ballistic protection for the Australian Army’s CH-47F medium-lift helicopters. For this application, CIB developed an advanced innovative armour design that is considerably lighter, thinner and more robust than comparable panels fitted previously.
Agile. Innovative. Proven.
The ability to continually innovate is crucial given constantly evolving threats. Armour protection must stay in front, not behind, threat developments. CIB has accordingly created a significant and well-resourced in-house R&D capability using fourth industrial revolution advanced manufacturing techniques. These include 3D design systems, multi-axis cutting machines, computerised pressing equipment and onsite test facilities.
The close integration of research, development, fabrication and testing allows CIB to quickly exploit new materials, fabrics or production techniques. This in-house capability is actively supported through the company’s strong relationships with the Australian Department of Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, the Special Air Service Regiment’s development cell and the Army’s Diggerworks. CIB’s now well-proven processes permit the design and manufacture of new armour protection systems within only a few weeks.
In this, CIB takes a whole-of-life perspective unique amongst ballistic armour manufacturing companies. The company has invested in advanced robotic X-ray equipment suitable for non-destructive testing of body armour. CIB can now inspect, refurbish and re-certify in-service body armour returning these to an as-new state at a cost significantly less than purchasing a replacement body armour set.
CIB provides Australia with a sovereign capability in a key area of individual and force protection. For over twenty years the company has consistently delivered high-quality systems on time and on budget. CIB’s on-going investment in R&D and fourth industrial revolution advanced manufacturing capabilities continues this history of success.
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