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30 June 2022

A NIOA contingent has come away from one of the world’s biggest weapons shows, emboldened by the “multiple opportunities” as the company continues its path to become Australia’s global weapons and munitions business.

Eurosatory at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre returned after a four-year hiatus, attracting more than 1700 companies from 63 countries showcasing the latest in defence technology.

CEO Rob Nioa headed up the NIOA crew which included Ben James, Jackson Nioa, Will Nioa, Rich Pryor, Mark Osborn and David Kuehn.

Rob said the five-day exhibition provided a long-awaited opportunity to catch up face-to-face with many of the company’s partners and suppliers.

“It was an extraordinary week and an ideal opportunity for us to get a sense of the current and future global landscape for weapons and munitions markets,” he said.

“As the Prime Contractor for major ADF Programs such as LAND 17 (Future Artillery Ammunition), Tranche 1 of LAND 159 (Lethality Systems Program) and the Major Munitions Contract, industry events such as Eurosatory remain a key opportunity to further build relationships with key suppliers as well as developing a sense of what future programs might need to focus on.”

Weapons and Munitions GM Ben James said NIOA’s munitions manufacturing operations at Maryborough and Benalla led to discussions about supply chain surety, modern manufacturing opportunities and possible further collaboration with world-leading weapons and munition manufacturers.

“Our meetings and engagements this week have revealed multiple opportunities,” he said.

Among the key conference takeouts, Ben identified:

  • Huge pressures on supply chain and production capabilities relating to the global economic environment and Russia’s war in Ukraine which will continue to drive substantial demand for weapons and munitions programs. Australia will not be immune to these changes, with costs of raw materials, manufacturing overheads and global freight challenges impacting future weapons and munitions acquisitions.
  • Harnessing technology into contemporary weapon systems. There have been substantial improvements in the design of new weapons and munition systems, from reduction in weight in machine guns to integration of robots and autonomous systems to man-portable and highly lethal loitering munitions. Improvements in fire control and target engagement systems were also notable. The contemporary battlespace is changing as quickly as ever.
  • The value of long-standing, trusted partnerships cannot be over-stated. NIOA’s global industry partnerships, established over many years of involvement in key ADF programs, are a significant force multiplier as we position ourselves as Australia’s global firearms, weapons and munitions company and seek to put step-change capabilities into the hands of Australia’s warfighters.
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