RFD awarded ADF contract for protective suits


Defence Materiel Organisation has announced a major supply contract to marine safety products supply firm RFD Australia, which explained that the $3.15 million contract is for the supply of highly specialised immersion clothing to protect ADF pilots and aircrew from possible death or injury, resulting from an aircraft being forced to ditch into cold water.

RFD said ADF airborne operations are frequently conducted over open water and unprepared immersion may result in the death of personnel due to hypothermia, shock and cardiac arrest. Further, fuel leaking from a damaged aircraft may also present a hazard to pilots and aircrew through fire and chemical burns.

“The new protective clothing is a one-piece fire-resistant suit, manufactured from a breathable, lightweight and waterproof laminated fabric. The suit covers the lower legs and feet to make it a one-piece garment which has latex seals at the neck and wrists,” said RFD.

The company said it was selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive and open industry tender that incorporated extensive trial and evaluation. “Their solutions have been adapted to meet specific ADF requirements, represent a Best Value for Money outcome and are of the same technology and supplier that has been approved for use on the new Joint Strike Fighter,” the company said.

RFD said it has committed to significant capital expenditure in new equipment and the up-skilling of staff to support these protective suits in service with the ADF.

Defence Material Organisation is Australia’s largest project management organisation and its mission is to acquire and sustain equipment for the Australian Defence Forces. DMO operates as a division of the Department of Defence.

RFD is a world leading supplier of marine safety products marketed under a range of brand names.
Some of these brands include RFD, DSB, Toyo, Plastimo boating equipment and ACR electronics.

Beginning in 1920, RFD is primarily involved in the supply and service of marine, fire, life support and gas control equipment.

For all information concerning supply and pricing of individual products within the broad range, please contact your regional RFD branch office.

Photo: Mark Barker, managing director of RFD Australia (left) confirms the supply contract for specialist immersion suits for the ADF with AESSO director, Mark O’Brien.