K-TIG’s (ASX: KTG) defence industry partner Axiom Precision Manufacturing has collared $1 million in federal government funding to fast-track deployment of K-TIG’s proprietary advanced welding technology to the nation’s multi-billion-dollar defence sector.
The Australian Government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) has provided the $1 million as part of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant.
Under the grant, Axiom will create plate armour and other structures for the Australian defence department using K-TIG’s welding technology.
The funding will support the acquisition and deployment of K-TIG’s specialised welding equipment into Axiom’s 6,000 square foot facility near Adelaide in South Australia.
Axiom’s facility has been built to “top secret” levels for advanced defence manufacturing.
K-TIG managing director Adrian Smith said the government grant was a “significant step” towards developing the advanced welding capabilities required in the defence industry globally.
“K-TIG and its partner companies Axiom and Bisalloy Steel will accelerate our joint efforts to establish a world-leading welding process for armour and other advanced products that will develop and retain a vital strategic skill set,” Mr Smith added.
Rolling out K-TIG technology to Australian defence sector
With the funding now in place, K-TIG will supply equipment and process protocols to Axiom.
Axiom can then apply these at scale for major local and international defence contracts.
As part of the deal, K-TIG retains all intellectual property while assisting Axiom with commissioning the manufacturing capabilities.
Bisalloy Steel is supplying Axiom with the advanced metals for initial defence welding contracts including armour for the Australian Army’s Land 400 program.
This program comprises developing the next generation of armoured fighting vehicles, with contracts in this space valued up to $15 billion.
K-TIG noted Axiom is already responsible for manufacturing components for Australian Collins Class Submarines. It is also the sole provider of BAE Systems’ vertical tail components for the US$1.35 trillion F-35 strike fighter multi-nation program.
Successful deployment could lead to new contracts
According to K-TIG, if the current contracts are successfully completed, a pipeline of major contracts using K-TIG’s technology at Axiom’s facility could readily emerge.
This could potentially result in K-TIG’s technology becoming “internationally significant” in the worldwide defence sector.
“This is an opportunity for K-TIG to demonstrate its revolutionary keyhole welding technology process on a large-scale, delivering strategically vital and technically complex defence projects for Australia while showing the global defence market the speed, strength and efficiency we can deliver to demanding projects,” Mr Smith said.