Finns double down on Aussie armour order

By Andrew Spence

The Finnish Defence Force has almost doubled its order of bullet-proof armour manufactured in South Australia following significant external validation.

Publicly-listed XTEK Limited launched its state-of-the-art fabrication centre in Adelaide in February and announced the first commercial order of its lightweight XTclave ballistic plates in March for use in Australian law enforcement.

The initial overseas sale for use by the Finnish Army, worth more than A$1 million, was announced on May 5 as XTEK’s first international order.

The company told the Australian Securities Exchange this morning the original order had been extended to now be worth about $2 million.

XTEK Managing Director, Philippe Odouard said the increased Finnish order illustrated increasing demand from international customers.

“XTEK’s international strategy underpins strong growth expectations, with international markets representing a significant commercial opportunity,” he said.

“XTEK is in a strong position to execute on its strategy and achieve further international orders, with discussions with other potential customers and strategic parties ongoing.

“We also plan to leverage our established US network and commence exporting XTclaveTM manufactured products to the US in the near- term.”

  XTEK Managing Director Philippe Odouard and Chair Uwe Boettcher at the Adelaide facility in February.

The new Adelaide manufacturing centre in the northern suburbs is equipped with the company’s XTclave composite materials curing and consolidation technology to manufacture lightweight ballistic armour plates and helmets.

The machine, about the size of four shipping containers, runs cycles of ultra-high isostatic pressure at high temperatures to achieve composite curing of thermoset and thermoplastic resin.

XTEK has based its R&D operations in Adelaide for the past 13 years, developing the lightweight armour plates and helmets as well as rifles and other defence related products.

The company’s US compliant small arms protective insert plates are up to 30 per cent lighter than other products and have buoyancy potential, while the light helmets can stop AK-47 MSC bullets and fragments.

The Finnish purchase order has come from CPE Production Oy, a supplier of high-performance lightweight ballistic protection solutions to the Finnish Defence Forces and other European defence customers.

XTEK’s head office is located in Australia’s capital Canberra. The Canberra facility also houses a sophisticated electronics workshop and a composite repair facility to provide in-house through life support for the equipment it provides.

XTEK Manufacturing and R&D Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, is primarily focused on the development of XTclave and lightweight composite technologies. The facility provides XTclave, CNC machining, fabrication and injection moulding capabilities for the company.

This article originally appeared at The Lead SA.
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