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A new advanced fabrication centre in Adelaide has won a contract to manufacture ballistic armour for a specialist Australian law enforcement unit. XTEX Limited Bottom of Form launched its state-of-the-art fabrication centre in February to manufacture lightweight ballistic armour plates and helmets.

The company has now announced its first order for its XTclave armour out of Adelaide. The order is from Tote Systems and XTEK expects the products will be delivered by the end of June, with further orders to follow.

XTEK Managing Director Philippe Odouard said the first commercial order was a significant milestone for the company, which is headquartered in Canberra. “Until now, orders received were used for testing and validation; this important order will be deployed for use in law enforcement in Australia […] This represents an external validation and a strong indicator of more orders to come from the industry, both domestically and globally […] Following our investment into this technology and capability, we are now in a strong position to meet the growing demand for these products and realise the significant value upside,” he explained.

The new Adelaide manufacturing centre features the company’s XTclave composite materials curing and consolidation technology. 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. Odouard said their US-compliant small arms protective insert plates are up to 30% lighter than other solutions and have buoyancy potential, while the light helmets can stop AK-47 MSC bullets and fragments.

The new machine will allow the company to ramp up production from the three plates it can make per cycle at the moment, to more than 40 plates in less time, as well as proving production capabilities before expanding in the US.

Earlier this month, XTEK also announced a spare parts order for its Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) division. “This first important order, combined with our recent SUAS spare parts order, as announced on 11 March, demonstrates defence spending remains consistent and stable ,which highlights the defensive nature of our business,” Odouard said. “Historically, we have seen that defence spending is resistant to recessions and often countercyclical to downward market trends. We continue to see robust demand and growing interest, supported by our control of key facilities and ongoing business development activities.”

XTEK’s new equipment will allow the company to significantly ramp up production. (Photo: XTEK Ltd)

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