Systematiq lands at biggest AVALON AIRSHOW yet

By Victor Zhang, Systematiq.

The Avalon Australian International Airshow has just wrapped up, spanning from the 28th of February to the 5th of March, in what was six days of undeniably exciting, high-flying action.

With the upcoming Defence Strategic Review expected to shift defence project focus to further prioritise air and maritime capabilities, the importance of the Australian aerospace and aviation industries has never been greater.

The Avalon Airshow is key in this regard, providing defence and aerospace enterprises the opportunity to showcase their capabilities in what has consistently been the largest aerospace and aviation event in the southern hemisphere. And this year has proven to be no exception, with 48,516 industry day attendances and record-breaking company participant numbers for the Aerospace and Defence Exposition component alone—making this year’s AVALON the largest ever since its inception in 1988.

Attended by approximately 800 exhibitor companies—from heavyweight industry leaders, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrope Grumman; to smaller local Australian businesses— the Avalon Aerospace & Defence Exposition has demonstrated yet again to be a fantastic opportunity for Australian SMEs to network with some of the biggest companies within the aviation and defence sectors.

Within the exhibitor halls, the atmosphere buzzed with energy, as industry figures conversed enthusiastically amidst models of the latest combat drones, planes, and missiles. A wide range of capabilities were on display across these three halls—showcasing innovative, cutting-edge offerings from both Australian and international defence enterprise.

‘From the first minute of this AVALON there was a dynamism in the exhibition halls and the sense that a lot of people were having some very productive conversations,’ said Justin Giddings, CEO of AVALON organiser AMDA Foundation.

‘The most pleasing thing has been a sense of optimism from industry and the desire to engage. AVALON was created to be a meeting hub, a catalyst for the sort of engagement that creates partnerships and ideas. This week felt like industry has direction and opportunities to pursue, that Australian companies are starting to feel like it is worth stepping forward and investing in capability.’

Outside, however, reserved professionalism soon gave way to candid excitement, as active-duty personnel, ex-military, and aerospace enthusiasts could not help but to stop and watch the impressive aerial displays before them. Of course, they were impossible to ignore; approaching silently, but followed by a deafening roar which shook the air and reverberated in the ground below. An exhilarating experience for all those present.

Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Air Marshall Robert Chipman, confirmed this sentiment: ‘There’s an enormous sense of energy at Avalon [when] you see these flying displays – they’re loud [and] they’re adrenaline charged.’

But above all, the atmosphere of the Airshow was one of community, largely due to the personable attitudes of the aviators of the Australian Air Force, along with the other military personnel present. Always open to conversation and eager to share their experiences, these men and women highlighted the fact that the Airshow was not simply a display of mechanical achievement, but of human achievement as well.

A range of aerospace and defence industry announcements occurred throughout the Expo days. Notably, Boeing signed an Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Deed with the Australian government in the production of 29 AH-64E Apache helicopters for the Australian Army, providing Australian suppliers with new opportunities and work for an acquisition worth $4.2 billion.

On the topic of Australian suppliers, Melbourne-based advanced manufacturing company 1MILLIKELVIN was named the winner of two Avalon Innovation Awards; the first double win in the award’s history. Taking both the National Innovation Award and the SME Innovation Award, 1MILLIKELVIN’s success is a reminder of the talent and ingenuity of Australia’s smaller enterprises, and the value of supporting local industry.

Systematiq soars above the competition

The Avalon Airshow was well-attended by Systematiq this year, with our Director of Strategy and Projects, BD Manager, Project Delivery Director, and Systems Engineering Lead all present.

The Systematiq team was busy throughout the day, networking with a range of defence industry enterprises, visiting the exhibitor stands of Collins Aerospace, Varley, Electro Optic Systems, amongst many others.

Director of Strategy and Projects Brydon Johnson observed that forming meaningful partnerships is one of the key factors which makes the Avalon Airshow such a valuable experience, for both Systematiq and its clients.

‘Our attendance at events like AVALON is essential for keeping up to date and what is new in our industry. It provides a unique opportunity to build and strengthen existing relationships, as well as paving the way for forming new partnerships.’

‘Speaking to our clients in person’, he adds, ‘allows us to understand their challenges and issues in a deeper and more comprehensive capacity, and being at AVALON provides us with the perfect opportunity to do just that.’

‘It was great to be out in person again, chatting to companies about their direction and pain points,’ said BD manager Erin O’Brien. ‘It really feels as if COVID is a thing of a past now and we have normalised social engagements again.’

Engineering Lead Barry Johnson also commented on the opportunity to network with Systematiq’s clientele: ‘It was fantastic to be able to engage with past and existing clients, as well discussing emerging prospects with several new clients.’

For him, the aerial displays were an added highlight:

‘Seeing the F-35A Lightning II flying demonstrates the cutting-edge 5th generation fighter capability that the RAAF now possesses. But the highlight was witnessing the aerial display of the United States Air force (USAF) F-22 Raptor which is arguably the world’s premier 5th generation fighter. Overall, a very successful and rewarding day, and I look forward to Systematiq’s attendance in the future.’

Brydon also commented on the technological feats on display at AVALON.

‘As an engineer, I’ve always enjoyed seeing the display at AVALON, but the Air Show also provides a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and developments in the aerospace industry. Attending the show helps us to see new innovations and understand the priorities of the ADF, so that we can remain current and competitive.’

‘This is particularly relevant given the upcoming release of the Defence Strategic Review,’ he adds, ‘which is set to re-evaluate Australia’s priorities on its defensive capabilities. With the way the wind is blowing, staying present and ahead of the curve in the aerospace and aviation sector has never been more important.’

Overall, the Avalon Airshow remains a focal point in the defence industry calendar, and this year’s showing was perhaps the most impressive in its 40-year history. The Systematiq team enjoyed the opportunity to engage with past, present, and prospective clients this year at AVALON, and looks forward to coming in for a water landing at the next defence industry event—Maritime Exposition INDO PACIFIC 2023—later in the year.