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Chris Bush from ProtoNautics

Chris Bush started his career as an apprentice, working his way up the ranks through the electronic and mechanical fields. Today, Chris heads up a team of more than 20 staff as General Manager at ProtoNautics in Wacol.

Evolving over time, the company extended its original operations—developing covert surveillance equipment—to include precision machining, engineering, chemical surface treatments and other production services for a wide range of industries, including defence.

One major defence project that ProtoNautics is contributing to is the production of the first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in more than 50 years—the Boeing Loyal Wingman.

The team worked alongside 34 innovative Australian companies to develop this prototype aircraft, which integrates autonomous systems and artificial intelligence to create human and intelligent-machine teams.

With its first successful flight in March this year, the project demonstrates just how varied the opportunities are in working with the defence industry.

“It’s an exciting time for ProtoNautics, as we gear up to meet defence industry needs in Queensland and join global defence supply chains,” Chris said.

“As part of this, we have implemented internationally recognised industry certification —supported through the Queensland Government’s Defence and Aerospace Industry Development Fund.

“This certification (AS9100:D) is helping us compete for global contracts and create new high-skilled job opportunities for our employees, most of which are Ipswich locals.

“Being able to support the local economy and create new, exciting jobs in our community is the icing on the cake for us.”

Chris is just one of the faces of defence industries in Queensland. This sector provides thousands of jobs for Queenslanders, so we’re helping it grow even stronger.

Last updated: 22 Oct 2021