Long-term commitment to defence supply chains
BEAK Engineering’s long-term commitment to defence aviation support and networking with other businesses has secured the company’s position in defence supply chains and laid the groundwork to expand overseas.
Established in Melbourne in 2006, with additional premises in Perth and Adelaide, BEAK employs 17 people across Australia.
BEAK’s core business is the maintenance and repair of helicopter landing and recovery systems, and additional flight deck equipment for warships.
The company is the in-country agent for the helicopter landing systems of the Royal Australian Navy’s existing ships and is the only Australian company endorsed by the original equipment manufacturer of the RAST (Recovery, Assist, Secure and Traverse) helicopter recovery system to conduct maintenance and training.
Chief Financial Officer, Kal Desai, said BEAK had to be able to supply technicians to do in-field maintenance anywhere in Australia within 24 hours of a call. “BEAK might have to replace a part, conduct standard maintenance activities or put in an entirely new system if required to ensure the RAN has minimum interruption to the system,” Mr Desai said.
BEAK will be working closely with the original equipment manufacturers and ship builders on the SEA5000 Future Frigates program, and responsible for the maintenance and in-field service of certain systems following the ship build.
Mr Desai said proper, accredited maintenance was important for preserving the life of expensive Defence military equipment. “We endeavour to work with the primes and the Commonwealth to ensure they’re getting value for money by offering the maintenance required for optimum serviceability. We’re not about getting every dollar. We’re about the smart dollar.”
BEAK started working with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) in 2017, after attending a CDIC event. The company received a Capability Improvement Grant from the CDIC to upskill their technicians for the repair and overhaul of the new helicopter training system, ASIST (Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse), which has been installed in three RAN ships. The ASIST system will feature in the Air Warfare Destroyers and Future Frigates.
Mr Desai said businesses contemplating entering Defence’s supply chain needed to take a long-term view and network with others. “It doesn’t matter if you have the best product. That’s not enough. Entering the defence supply chain as a new supplier can be a lengthy process. There’s no overnight decision and there can be a lot of boxes to tick.
“The CDIC has been really useful and its programs can provide great assistance to SMEs [small and medium sized businesses]. The events they run to educate companies about Defence are brilliant and companies have been very interested in what the CDIC has brought to the table.
“The networking opportunities at these events provide a great platform to partner with other like-minded businesses to enter the Defence supply chain as a joint venture, bringing together a larger and stronger skillset.”
BEAK is looking to partner with another company in a joint venture to maximise opportunities for new research and development projects. Mr Desai said BEAK would continue to focus on growing its existing operations, while seeking opportunites to further expand into new products and markets, such as Africa and the Middle East.
“We’ve built very good relationships with our customers and suppliers and we continue to focus on delivering a complete, turnkey solution for our customers,” Mr Desai said.
“Customer satisfaction has always been a key measure for us. There’s a snowball effect if you’re doing a good job.”
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