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Bullet-proof export strategy leads to Finnish product

Business

An Adelaide bullet-proof armour manufacturer has won a contract to supply its lightweight ballistic plates to the Finnish Army.

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ASX-listed XTEK Limited launched its state-of-the-art fabrication centre in Adelaide’s north in February and announced its first commercial order in March for use in Australian law enforcement.

The Finnish sale, worth more than A$1 million, is XTEK’s first international order, which it says represents a key milestone in its ballistic armour commercialisation strategy.

“We have worked very hard to ensure that the long customer cycles have progressed in parallel with the construction of the new manufacturing centre in Adelaide, to ensure that the manufacturing capability is utilised as soon as possible – and we are now very pleased to see this strategy successfully executed,” XTEK Managing Director Philippe Odouard said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning.

The new Adelaide manufacturing centre is equipped with the company’s XTclave composite materials curing and consolidation technology to manufacture lightweight ballistic armour plates and helmets.

The machine, about the size of four shipping containers, runs cycles of ultra-high isostatic pressure at high temperatures to achieve composite curing of thermoset and thermoplastic resin.

XTEK has based its R&D operations in Adelaide for the past 13 years, developing the lightweight armour plates and helmets as well as rifles and other defence related products.

Odouard said their US compliant small arms protective insert plates are up to 30 per cent lighter than other products and have buoyancy potential, while the light helmets can stop AK-47 MSC bullets and fragments.

He said XTEK is in ongoing discussions with other potential customers and expects to commence exporting ballistic products to the US in the near-term.

The Finnish purchase order has come from CPE Production Oy, a supplier of high-performance lightweight ballistic protection solutions to the Finnish Defence Forces and other European defence customers.

In late 2017, XTEK received a small purchase order for samples of its proprietary XTclave manufactured Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) plates for qualification purposes by the Finnish Army.

The successful progression through intensive testing and validation, has led to this commercial scale order, providing significant external validation of the quality of the product.

XTEK’s shares were up 2.5 per cent to $0.61 at noon following this morning’s announcement.

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