Page 36 - Australian Defence Magazine - July 2018
P. 36

Building export success on the
Thanks to work done under the GSC program companies like Cablex and Heuch have secured work on Rheinmetall’s international Boxer program.
GSC foundation
Launched almost a decade now, the Global Supply Chain program now has $1 billion worth of business under its aegis.
BACK in 2002 when Australia signed on to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, there was some scepticism that Australian companies would ever see more than a few crumbs from this vast international but mostly US project of which Australia was a minor partner.
That was the progenitor of the Global Supply Chain (GSC) program, officially launched in 2009 in which, at latest count, 165 Australian firms and institutions had contracted for more than $1 billion worth of business with global primes.
The precise figure is $1.019 billion as at late May. That’s growing quickly. The recent De- fence Export Strategy cites a figure of almost $950 million worth of contracts to 151 busi- nesses and institutions as of last October.
Many of the companies now involved in GSC previously did zero defence business.
So this has to be considered a success and it has further to go.
Many of the benefits aren’t in terms of dol- lars to Australian companies. There are in- tangibles – opening doors, keeping abreast of emerging trends and accreditation require- ments and better equipping emerging Austra- lian firms to compete in international markets.
“In a nutshell, we are funding seven de- fence primes to find opportunities for Australian industry in their global supply chains,” Andrew Garth, General Manager of the Centre for Defence Industry Capa- bility (CIDC) explained to ADM. “It is about recognising that Australian industry only has a certain sized market and if we look internationally we can then find larger markets through the primes.”
Samantha Peel, Director of Exports and Global Markets within CIDC said the GSC program was aimed at defence com- panies but many didn’t operate just in the defence space.
“We only fund the GSC primes, their personnel costs as well as prime specific training for SMEs. It is not designed to be a revenue stream for them. It is an incen- tive,” she said.
“The opportunities that they identify, if they do receive project funding for it from Defence are across their defence and civil businesses around the world and it is agnos- tic of that project as well.”
So far GSC has contracts with seven primes – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ray- theon, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Thales and Rheinmetall.
There are some notable absences such as Airbus and Naval Group but Naval Group outlined in its AIC plan for the Future Sub- marine that it intends to become part of the program. Whoever wins Sea 5000 could also be a contender.
So far 94 per cent of GSC contracts have gone to small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with others going to research insti- tutions such as universities.
Although, Australia signed onto the JSF program in 2002, GSC’s genesis was in a trial program with Boeing in 2007 when Australia decided to buy C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
GSC proper was launched in 2009. That places its birth across both Coalition and La- bor government, which can share the credit.
GSC is uniquely Australian and as such has attracted international attention for its ability to create opportunities for SMEs in the supply chains of the global primes in military and civil markets.
Garth attributes parts of the rise and suc- cess of GSC to Australia’s lack of natural defence primes, in contrast to the US (Boe- ing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon), the UK (BAE Systems), France (Thales) and Germany (Rheinmetall).
“It is not surprising that we have a unique program here,” he said.
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