The Australian Government will contribute A$9m towards research work for the protection of soldiers of the Australian Defence Force, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare have said.

“Threats faced by our soldiers are always changing and the equipment they use has to keep evolving to meet these new threats,” Clare added.

The project, a partnership between the government, the defence industry and research organisations, aims to improve soldier protective equipment to counter existing and evolving threats.

In addition to the A$9m government funding, industry will provide around A$11m and in-kind contributions to develop, test and evaluate prototypes of new equipment.

The Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) will lead the team with support from research organisations including University of Wollongong and RMIT.

Industry partners include Australian Defence Apparel, Ballistic and Mechanical Testing, Bruck Textiles, Tectonica, Pacific Engineering Systems International and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing.