The Illawarra region and Wollongong have a proud and successful history of providing innovative technology and services to the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) and the global defence industry. The region has a well-developed ecosystem of organisations involved in defence procurement, research, and development for the industry. Notably, this area is also endowed with a skilled workforce, supported by the advanced research activities of the University of Wollongong and high-quality manufacturing facilities. For example, the armoured steel plates for the Collins-class submarines, Adelaide-class frigates and the Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer’ projects were manufactured in Wollongong. 

Steel manufacturing has been a core part of the Illawarra industry for decades. Many specialty steels for Defence were developed in Port Kembla, including rated ballistic plates and aircraft steel. In the 1940s, the famous Owen submachine gun was invented and produced in Wollongong. So, defence specialty steel production has been a rich part of the tapestry of our heritage, along with the innovation and skills base to support the steel. 

Today, across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions, local organisations provide a range of services supporting Defence, including engineering and maintenance activities, supply of assets and services, joint development facilities, education, development training, and research. 

A diverse range of defence ready capabilities

Wollongong is home to many large and established companies, some who have serviced the defence industry for decades. These include:

Wollongong's advantages in defence

Wollongong companies offer a wide range of capabilities to the defence industry, including:

  • Military-grade communications systems.
  • Armoured steel plate.
  • High-end welding and engineering.
  • Engineered plastics and polyurethane.
  • Electrical isolators and enclosures.
  • Specialist protective coatings.
  • Base safety systems.
  • Ruggedised medical computing devices.
  • Specialist labour services
  • Project management services.

Invest Wollongong

Invest Wollongong is a partnership between Wollongong City Council, the NSW Government and the University of Wollongong. We work together to assist businesses and investors interested in Wollongong.

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Shoalhaven & Defence Industry Group

The Shoalhaven & Defence Industry Group (SD&IG) is an alliance between the local defence industry, Shoalhaven City Council, the NSW Government and the Shoalhaven Business Chamber. SD&IG promotes and supports the defence industry capabilities of the Shoalhaven to attract business, investment and jobs.

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