A Gold Coast business, which was started in a garage 20 years ago, has been selected to participate in the Hunter-class frigate program.

The Australian Government and ASC Shipbuilding recently announced the commencement of feasibility studies to inform the opportunity for Australian industry participation in the program.

Craig International Ballistics was selected to conduct a detailed feasibility study to pilot its local manufacturing facilities, design and staffing skill sets for the potential supply of transparent and opaque armour systems and ship bridge windows.

The company was founded by Robert Craig in his family’s home in 1999, who started out providing body armour sets to the ADF. 

The company is now managed by Robert’s son, James Craig, after he joined the business in 2001.

At the time, James Craig said Craig International Ballistics was the only Australian manufacturer of hard body armour plates, and quickly became a critical local capability. 

Having the foresight to invest in a multi-axis water jet cutter and introduce an in-house division for applying protective coatings to composite armour panels meant the company soon became uniquely capable of manufacturing armour to the standards required in naval applications.

Soon, the company that came from humble beginnings was manufacturing armour for protected mobility vehicles, military transport aircraft and naval frigates.

“We’ve diversified our product portfolio to better cater for the unique ballistic protection products required within the naval shipbuilding supply chain,” Mr Craig said. 

“Our integration of design, development and fabrication capabilities permit the design and manufacture of new armour protection systems within just a few weeks.”