Home Business IT Business Telecommunications Austal buys Canberra's defence based company ATI

Austal buys Canberra's defence based company ATI

Canberra-based and state-of-the-art systems engineering company, Australian Technology Information Pty Ltd (ATI) has been purchased by Austal, Australia's leading shipbuilder and the world's largest designer and builder of 'high performance aluminium vessels for the defence and commercial markets'.

It's not often my sleepy home town of Canberra is in the news'¦ hang on, who am I kidding, as the seat of Federal Parliament and the capital of Australia, there's always boneheaded IT decisions emanating from Canberra which regularly make the news, along with all the other political shenanigans that regularly go on.

So, it's nice to see some high-value IT work going on in Canberra after all, rather than just high-speed departmental electronic paper shuffling, and especially up in the extremely high-value defence market.

Located in Canberra's business and industrial suburb of Fyshwick, ATI is an 'Australian company that provides specialised services to the Australian Defence Forces including systems engineering and integration, information technology, verification and validation systems and deployable tactical command centres.'

The announcement was made to the ASX and announced at Austal's website, with Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy stating that: 'ATI has developed a very successful business in providing state-of-the-art systems engineering and associated technologies to the Australian Defence Forces.

'These technologies are an ideal complement to Austal's existing design and production capability in the defence sector and will allow Austal to expand the range of services and products that it can deliver to defence customers worldwide'.

In financial year 2010, Austal reports ATI's turnover totalled AUD $6.1 million, with the merger of the two companies clearly designed to add up to more than the sum of their parts.

While things like 'deployable tactical command centres' don't sound like they'll be arriving to the consumer or even business markets anytime soon, they do sound pretty cool and sound like they'd make for an awesome add-on virtual reality set to some massive RTS online wargame.

However war is hell and a very tough business, and most of us today are very lucky that we aren't stuck in battle on the front lines, even as Australian and other troops are fighting in places like Afghanistan right now.

So'¦ Canberra makes the news in a slightly different IT way to the norm, as Austal gets new defence capabilities which hopefully help make Australia a safer nation!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.