NSW defence industry capabilities

New South Wales is home to a highly innovative, competitive and technically sophisticated defence sector.

  • World-class research and development infrastructure through globally recognised universities and research organisations.
  • Highly reputable training facilities that attract students from across the globe.
  • Educated and skilled workforce.
  • Connected to diverse sub-sectors including advanced manufacturing, civil aviation and space.
  • Strong presence of Defence Prime within the state.
  • Home of systems integration using dual-use and emerging technologies.
  • Established transport, logistics and infrastructure systems.

Land capabilities

NSW has a long history in the land defence domain.

  • The Lithgow Small Arms factory has been manufacturing military weapons – including the latest ADF small arms – for well over 100 years.
  • Mulwala factory in Regional NSW produces high quality propellants and ordnance.
  • Australian Target Systems in Albury are a leading manufacturer of moving targets systems.
  • Milspec makes power systems and vehicle parts used in a range of military and fighting vehicles.
  • Bisalloy works in close collaboration with BlueScope Steel and the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group to manufacture a range of defence and ballistic grades of steel.

In terms of Army basing, major establishments in the state include Blamey Barracks, Wagga Wagga, home of the Army Recruit Training Centre (ARTC). Soldiers have trained at the site, which has had various unit names, since 1942.

Major army establishments are also located at Holsworthy in the Liverpool area of Sydney and at Singleton in the Hunter Valley. Victoria Barracks in the heart of Sydney is the home of Army’s Headquarters Forces Command.

NSW aviation

  • 265 aircraft manufacturing and repair firms are based in NSW (29% of all firms in Australia).
  • Sydney Airport is the largest airport in Australia, with 44 million passenger movements in 2017–18, representing 27% of the market.
  • The state has a thriving regional industry— Newcastle Airport had 1.3 million passenger movements in 2017–18, while Ballina and Coffs Harbour each had over 400,000.
  • Of all vocational education and training aviation courses offered in Australia, 63% are in NSW and the majority of aerospace-related degrees in Australia are from NSW universities.
  • NSW accounts for 29% of Australia’s $2 billion aircraft manufacturing and repair services exports.

NSW space industry capabilities

As the leading Australian state for space capabilities, NSW is ideally positioned to help grow this significant and increasingly important sector.

NSW embraces most of the support services that will be critical to future space business. It also has strengths in high-tech instrumentation, ground station infrastructure, smart payloads development, space and intra-space communications, and commercialisation of space data.

In fact, NSW is the only Australian state or territory with capabilities across every sector of the space industry.

NSW is home to:

  • 41% of Australian space businesses
  • More than 50% of Australia’s space-related revenue
  • 50% of Australia’s space export revenue
  • Around 30% of Australia’s space workforce.

Space research and development

NSW is leading innovation in the space sector. It is home to 26 departments across eight universities involved in space education and research and development.

NSW accounts for:

  • 36% of space science research and development
  • 31% of all Australian university departments active in space studies
  • 28% of space education and training
  • 21% of space engineering research and development.

Aerotropolis in Western Sydney

The Aerotropolis adjoining the new Western Sydney Airport will cluster world-class aerospace, defence and advanced manufacturing industries, encouraging collaboration and greater innovation.

The Aerotropolis will create knowledge-intensive defence and aerospace jobs, encourage investment and generate STEM education opportunities.

The development of an Aerospace Institute at the Aerotropolis will bring together state-of the-art STEM universities, advanced vocational education and training facilities and a high performance secondary school to create the highly-skilled workforce required by the growing aerospace industry.