hunter defence capabilities

THE HUNTER REGION – An accomplished national leader in defence support, supply and sustainment, across land, sea and air.

Capability is perhaps the most valuable resource in a changing world, making the Hunter region a resource base with benefits that go beyond the demands of today, extending into the needs of tomorrow.

Mobilising that capability is our mission.

The Hunter home to the nation’s premier jet fighter base, RAAF Base Williamtown, which has driven the development of a sophisticated aerospace and aviation support network with expertise and credible maturity in advanced manufacturing, state-of-the-art communications and electronics, and smart technologies including high-precision modelling and simulation.



It is a stronghold of manufacturing and engineering, with significant capability in ship-building and vessel support, and the manufacture of land vehicles and components, as well as a reliable track record of major infrastructure delivery – capabilities complemented by an experienced and efficient logistical network, and deeply integrated multi-modal transport infrastructure across road, rail, air and sea.

prime territory, local industry

The Hunter is also home to a defence industry network spearheaded by some of the premier prime contractors in the country, specialising in a range of mission-critical technologies and services, staffed by some of the most capable mind in their respective fields: among them, established names such as BAE Systems, Thales, Boeing Defence, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, CIVMEC, Varley Group, and Airbus.

Additionally, it is a thriving centre of excellence and innovation in its own right, with many local manufacturing firms that have developed robust defence capability – and many more rising alongside them to participate more closely in the sector, supporting the equipment and technology needs of all three Australian Defence services, including the sophisticated requirements of the awe-inspiring Joint Strike Fighter program.



As host to the nation’s key air combat, battlespace management and missile defence systems, there is no region more attuned to the needs of the Defence sector and the cutting edge capabilities required to sustain it than the Hunter and surrounds – a fact strengthened by the continued investment in projects like the evolving Astra Aerolab precinct, or Sentinel’s Newcastle Port Logistics Hub.

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MOBILISING AUSTRALIA’S FULL SPECTRUM DEFENCE READINESS

The unique collocation of defence technologies and primes that the Hunter is home to has driven the development of a sophisticated industry network in advanced aerospace, maritime manufacturing, cyber security, simulation, and smart technologies – a network encompassing all major spheres of capability required by a truly modern defence force.

Air Capabilities

RAAF Base Williamtown is home to the command, operational and support elements of Air Combat Group’s tactical fighter force components operating F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Hawk and PC-21 aircraft, as well as Surveillance and Response Group’s Air Surveillance and Battlefield Management command and support elements. Adjacent to this and to Newcastle Airport, the Astra Aerolab defence and aerospace precinct is facilitating direct airside access to a number of leading defence, aerospace, and innovation organisations.

HIGH TOLERANCE MACHINING • SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE DEVELOPMENT • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS • VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY SYSTEMS • DEPLOYABLE AIR MISSION SYSTEMS • HIGH-END AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE AND SUSTAINMENT CAPABILITY • LOW OBSERVABLE COATING SUPPORT • ADVANCED AEROSPACE CONSULTANCY • WORLD CLASS SIMULATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT • BATTLESPACE MANAGEMENT AND SENSOR DESIGN/SUPPORT • HIGH-END COMPOSITE DEVELOPMENT

Land Capabilities

The Hunter region is a critical component in the evolution of the Australian Army’s regional anti-access / area-denial capabilities with a number of projects underway locally that are facilitating this transformation – and more to follow. These projects extend across high-tolerance machining, sub-assembly support, AI development, high-end military combat systems development, and extensive Maintenance Repair and Overhaul capabilities in the design, manufacture, and operation of assets with primary use on land environments – including amphibious environments.

HIGH TOLERANCE MACHINING • SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE DEVELOPMENT • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS • VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY SYSTEMS • UNMANNED SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT • ADVANCED LAND SYSTEMS CONSULTANCY • WORLD CLASS SIMULATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT • BATTLESPACE MANAGEMENT AND SENSOR DESIGN/SUPPORT • ARMOUR PLATING SYSTEMS • HIGH-END COMPOSITE DEVELOPMENT

Martime Capabilities

The Hunter Region has a longstanding shipbuilding capability that supports the construction, operation and maintenance of Australia’s modern Maritime capability. Companies such as CIVMEC (operator of the former Forgacs operations), Thales Defence, UGL and Varley Group are all housed in the region, as well as the high-end capability of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Australia and others at Williamtown who manage, day to day, the highest degree of technological advancement that is required in modern Maritime combat systems.

AUXILLARY SYSTEMS • COMBAT SYSTEMS • COMMUNICATIONS AND SURVELLAINCE • HULL STRUCTURE • NAVAL VESSEL CONTROL • OUTFIT AND FURNISHINGS • PROPULSION PLANT • SHIP ASSEMBLY AND SUPPORT SERVICES

Space Capabilities

As part of enabling assured access to Space, Defence is establishing a Space Division headquarters within the RAAF to deliver capabilities including Space domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communications, and Space-based Earth observation and navigation. Many of these capabilities are being collaborated on with industry in the Hunter Region, with discussions underway on the viability of responsive horizontal space launch within the region, and partnering and manufacturing in the development of situation awareness technology for Low Earth Orbit systems.

• RESPONSIVE HORIZONTAL SPACE LAUNCH • LOW EARTH ORBIT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

Cyber Capabilities

Cyber capabilities within the Hunter span the full spectrum from research and development (R&D) through to product creation and deployment. University of Newcastle, for one, is partnering with the defence industry, driving breakthroughs that will make positive contributions to both global security and modern life. Projects include new protocols for data transmission, including novel encryption/decryption methods, eliminating cybersecurity threats before they cause harm, and developing new ways to manage logistics and supply chains during disaster response.

• INFORMATION SYSTEMS • DEFENCE BUINESS SYSTEMS • DEFENCE CYBER PROTECTION CAPABILITY • ELECTRONIC/ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS AND INTEGRATION • COMMUNICATIONS AND SURVEILLANCE • DATA ENCYRPTION/DECRYPTION • ELECTRONIC WARFARE

Other Capabilities

The Hunter region also offers a comprehensive range of associated Defence capabilities encompassing: Unmanned Systems (systems, products or services for the design, manufacture and operation of assets across all domains that are either autonomous or remotely controlled); Battlefield Systems (systems and products that provide defensive and offensive warfare capabilities and/or protection to assets across all domains, including various missile technology developments, rocket propulsion systems, explosives support, storage and technology development, torpedo system development, and small arms support); Common Products and Consumables; and Common Services and Skills.

CONSTRUCTION, ASSEMBLY AND SUPPORT • INTEGRATED LOGISTICS SUPPORT (ILS) • ROBOTICS/COBOTICS • BUSINESS SERVICES • DECOMMISSIONING • ENGINEERING • PROGRAM AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT • RESEARCH AND TRAINING

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capability directory

Explore the Hunter Defence Capbility Directory for yourself.

Latest News

The latest intelligence on events, announcements, trends and developments in the Hunter Region and in Australia’s defence industry.

April 9, 2024

Hunter Defence embarks on National Media Partnership with Industry Update

Hunter Defence has established a new ongoing relationship with Industry Update Manufacturing Magazine – Australia’s No.1 manufacturing and industrial equipment magazine and directory. This partnership

October 19, 2023

Nupress, Lockheed Martin and Thales set to boost Hunter region defence profile

May 3, 2023

Defence Strategic Review (DSR) summary from Tim Owen

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