The Hunter and Central Coast Region is defence-oriented with the location of RAAF Williamtown with Air Combat Group and Surveillance and Response Group (SRG). Other elements include Singleton’s Lone Pine Army Barracks School of Infantry (SOI) and the Special Forces Training Centre (SFTC), Primes (including BAE Systems, Thales, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Forgacs and Varley). There are also many Defence capable SMES, technically capable people and supporting organisations in the region.

Local industry, community and government are supportive and both understand and enjoy the benefits of Defence in the area. The University of Newcastle, TAFE and schools are based on supporting engineering, commercial, industrial and Defence-focused education and training.

This creates the foundations for an area that readily meets the requirements and ethos for the development and expansion of the Defence industry.

Current Defence Infrastructure

The region’s capacity for developing further defence industry can be initially assessed with respect to:

  • The magnitude and range of defence force infrastructure and ADF personnel within the Region
  • The number, scale and breadth of activity within prime contractors to Defence within the Region
  • The capability of Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to support Defence and Prime contractors

Defence activity within the region has an extensive history of completed defence contracts. The long-term demonstration of past performance and proven success is integral to the region’s capacity to win a greater share of defence expenditure in the future.

Defence force infrastructure and ADF personnel in the region

It is estimated that more than 4,000 Defence and contractor personnel are employed within the region. Supporting regionally-based and interstate troops is a significant level of defence-related infrastructure within the region.  Find out more.

Prime contractors

A number of prime contractors are located, and undertake a large proportion of their defence-related work, within the region. The Primes and the major projects for which they have recently been, or are currently responsible for, across the region.  Find out more.

Regional SMEs (defence-related)

There are several SMEs who have completed Defence projects. They either work with or supply the capacity and have been identified to support and apply their capability to the requirements of Defence, directly, or more specifically through prime contractors or subcontractors. There are also other SMEs who have the capability to provide their services to Defence however they require additional Defence skills and knowledge to obtain Defence work. For the development and establishment of a larger defence industry within the region, capabilities need opportunities identified and the ‘Defence’ skilling of SMEs and people. Defence related SMEs in the region have provided and will continue to support various projects in the region. Find out more.

Defence ready Seminar Series 2019-2020

This unique program has been designed to assist SMEs to develop a sound and informed understanding of specific demands and processes that apply to how Defence employs and buys products and services, and to provide unwritten knowledge around the sheer complexity of Defence and Defence Industry to enable your company to formulate sensible business and selling strategies within the Defence sector, or more simply, if your company even wishes to proceed with pursuing Defence work. The program will educate, prepare, grow, and mature Hunter companies that are either not engaging, or already engaging in the Defence space, which for the purpose of the program, we categorise according to levels of Defence “competence”.  It is an essential must do for any SMEs who are looking to enter the defence contracting space. Find out more.

Regional Opportunities


You may be interested to know that an Invitation to Register (ITR) for the Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade of F-35 JSF Air Vehicle Components (MRO&U AVC) was released on AusTender on 13 June 2017 and closes on 17 July 2017.

The purpose of the ITR is to establish prequalified lists for future JPO requirements in relation to MRO&U AVC for all future JPO Requests for Information (RFIs) which are released to the Commonwealth in relation to MRO&U AC. The intent of this ITR is to streamline the process for industry and for the Commonwealth in relation to future RFIs.

To view the ITR, please go to the AusTender website at and download CASG/JSF/RFI0160/17.

Naval Shipbuilding Industry Briefing