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The Australian Government has announced new grant funding of more than $880,576 (A$1.2m) to boost the export capabilities of six local businesses.

The move is part of the federal government’s strategy to support growth in the domestic defence sector through the Defence Global Competitiveness grants programme.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “Small businesses that develop some of the most innovative and world-leading defence capabilities are the backbone of Australia’s industrial base.

“From acquiring new specialist components, to manufacturing engines for unmanned aerial vehicles, or making new static targets for international customers, these six small businesses are expanding into global markets, generating local jobs and strengthening the sovereign industrial base on which Defence relies.”

South Australia’s Electro Cad Australia and New South Wales’ Repetition Engineering (trading as Challenge Engineering) each received a funding grant of A$240,000.

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Electro Cad will use the funding to install a dedicated clean room and purchase new equipment to manufacture complex defence components while Repetition Engineering will spend it to procure additional machinery.

South Australia’s JTM Gaskets received A$211,260 to buy new equipment to boost production, while Victoria-based business Trakka Corp will use its A$193,192 grant to procure specialist equipment to carry out in-house environmental stress screening for the components they produce.

The government also allocated A$166,000 to Gaardtech for boosting fabrication capabilities.

Western Australia’s Orbital Corporation will utilise a A$195,624 grant to boost production capabilities for propulsion systems and flight componentry for tactical uncrewed aerial vehicles.

Minister Price added: “By supporting these companies to invest in new equipment or to increase their manufacturing capabilities, it is enabling them to increase their production capabilities and offer more competitive priced equipment internationally.”

The federal government is also encouraging industry suppliers to apply for the fourth generation of contracts to deliver services to defence bases. These contracts are expected to add around $882m (A$1.2bn) per annum to the Australian economy.