SYDNEY — Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced the government would create an Australian Military Sales Office (AMSO) to assist local defense manufacturers in the export market.
An early priority will be to develop a system whereby the government can sell locally made defense equipment directly to other governments on behalf of the Australian manufacturers.
When making the announcement, Smith said that the AMSO had already assisted in the sale of classified Australian-made counter-IED technology to the U.S. government.
Other Australian capabilities identified at an early stage include CEA Technologies’ CEAFAR active phased-array radar for smaller warships, Thales Australia’s Bushmaster and Hawkei protected military vehicles, and advanced soldier protective equipment developed for Australian troops operating in Afghanistan.
It will also help Australian exporters showcase their products and capabilities at international defense exhibitions and trade shows under the existing “Team Australia” branding.
“By setting up an Australian Military Sales Office, similar to what United States has with its Foreign Military Sales Office, and Canada, Sweden and other countries, it will provide the opportunity for Australian companies that are developing military technologies here in Australia to export overseas,” Smith said.
The AMSO resides in the Commercial and Industry Programs (CIP) division of the Defence Materiel Organisation, and incorporates the existing Defence Export Unit (DEU), Defence Disposals Agency (DDA), Global Supply Chain (GSC) program, and International Materiel co-operation (IMC) and Major Events Directorates.
It is staffed from within the existing CIP Division and will be funded from the current program budgets within the division.
“AMSO has already commenced operations, by virtue of the current activities being undertaken by the DEU, GSC, DDA, IMC and Major Events areas, and implementation of the government-to-government sales arrangements will be phased in as procedures are developed and agreed,” said a Defence Department spokesperson.
“Initially, for government-to-government sales, priority will be given to products that are in use by the Australian Defence Force. Sales will be subject to Australia’s international obligations and defense export control arrangements.”