One of the great local businesses that exhibited as part of the Victorian Government Pavilion at this year’s Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition is Air Radiators. Based in Lara, less than 10 minutes from Avalon Airport, Air Radiators is a leading example of how regional Victorian businesses contribute to Victoria’s defence supply chain. The company designs and manufactures customised heat transfer solutions being leaders in engine and hydraulic cooling and HVAC systems. Air Radiators service a range of industries including defence, rail, trucks and buses, construction and mining, power and energy generation, and oil and gas.
Alongside its traditional product range of cooling solutions, Air Radiators promoted its innovative technology to Australian and international defence industry partners at the Airshow. It has been a frequent exhibitor, and this year launched a new product technology – Alu Fin, a high strength and highly customisable heat transfer product comprised of flexibly mounted individual finned aluminum tubes.
Air Radiators plays a vital role in demonstrating the strength of Victoria’s defence supply chain capabilities, and by employing locally in Lara and purchasing from material suppliers within Victoria, the company helps create key manufacturing jobs. Some of the significant projects that they have contributed to include:
Air Radiators has also been part of several local and international trade missions and events coordinated by the Victorian State Government. These have included Eurosatory in Paris, InnoTrans in Germany and LandForces in Adelaide.
The world’s first optical radar, Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) was show as Sentient Vision participated in the Victorian Government Pavilion at the 2019 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition, held in Avalon from 26 February to 1 March 2019.
Headquartered in Port Melbourne, Sentient Vision is one of the Australia’s leading developers of Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence software solutions for leading aerospace and defence organisations in Australia and worldwide. It has been growing its team and capability for over ten years and works closely with government, the defence industry and universities on a range of innovative projects and initiatives including the Team Reaper Australia for Air 7003, a significant unmanned aerial system (UAS), which was announced at the previous iteration of the Airshow in 2017.
One of the key products that Sentient Vision showcased at this year's Airshow was ViDAR, a maritime wide area optical search system that autonomously finds objects on the surface of the ocean, such as small boats, life rafts and people in the water, over vastly greater areas than traditional search methods. ViDAR is the world’s first optical radar and is currently used by the Australian Navy, the US Coast Guard and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. In November 2018, the company was also awarded a $5.5 million contract to explore the development of a land Visual Detection and Ranging (VIDAR) system.
Through its participation at the Victorian Government Pavilion, which signals ten years since Sentient Vision first appeared at the Airshow as part of the AIDN-Vic / Victorian Government stand, the company hopes to increase awareness of its products and leading-edge solutions with Australian and global organisations – with a focus on companies from the Asia Pacific region. The Airshow also provided Sentient Vision with a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with industry and government.
The Victorian Government and Sentient Vision have worked closely together over the past decade through initiatives including industry engagement events and expertise, marketing assistance and grant programs which strengthen business and defence supply chain capabilities.
Another of the 28 Victorian businesses featured at the Victorian Government Pavilion at this year's Airshow was the Moorabbin-headquartered Marand, which showcased its engineering, manufacturing and sustainment capabilities. Marand is a leading supplier to industry of high-quality precision tooling, machine tools and highly engineered automated production solutions. It is also one of several Victorian companies supplying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project and has the largest value of work contracted to any Australian supplier.
The business is manufacturing the vertical tails for the Australian aircraft, as well as for several program partner nations, and is also manufacturing the engine trailer for the F-35 fleet of aircraft. Global defence prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, was on hand at the Airshow to take delivery of the 100th trailer from Marand - a significant milestone by the Victorian supplier. By showcasing alongside many other defence supply chain companies, Marand demonstrated its ability to integrate with partners and position itself as an Australian ‘partner of choice’ for defence businesses selling into the Australian Defence Force.
Marand is a significant contributor to Victorian defence supply chain capabilities through partnerships with global defence prime contractors, which include global powerhouses such as BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin. Through these partnerships, Marand brings major projects to Victoria that provide employment opportunities and strengthen the defence industry.
The Victorian Government and Marand have long enjoyed a positive association, with Marand being recognised for leadership and excellence in Victorian Manufacturing at the 2018 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards. In 2012, Marand was also recognised as Victoria’s Manufacturer of the Year (Large Business), which followed on from their induction into the Hall of Fame in 2009. As Marand has key partnerships with international defence prime contractors, it viewed the Victorian Government Pavilion at the Airshow as a great opportunity for businesses to connect with supply chain partners and a chance to further promote Victoria as an attractive location for international defence primes to do business.