Newcastle firm delivers first Aussie-made ballistic eyewear for the frontlines 

Newcastle firm delivers first Aussie-made ballistic eyewear for the frontlines 

Frontline Safety Australia has produced the first batch of Australian made ballistic rated protective eyewear to be worn by defence personnel.

The specialised manufacturing and supply firm based at Carrington secured an Australian Defence industry contract last year for the manufacture of Ballistic Laser Ocular Protection System (BLOPS) eyewear.

Director of product development, John Hoffman says new production equipment and safety testing systems helped produce the latest and most innovative version.

“Ballistic eyewear can withstand up to four times more impact than regular safety eyewear and protects the wearer from high velocity fragments and projectiles,” John said.

“Our hi-tech lens cutting machine is the only one in Australia capable of cutting ballistic eyewear.”

CEO of Frontline Safety Australia, Jenny Hoffman says government backing enabled the family-run firm to innovatively upgrade its design, production, quality and testing systems to successfully produce the first instalment of 6,000 units.

Last year Frontline was awarded a federal government grant under the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority program, which funded an investment in machinery for precision lens cutting, high velocity and high mass ballistic testing, and optical clarity and conformance testing.

“Up until now we have had to import the complete product, risking supply and timing disruptions,” Jenny said.

“We can now do what hasn’t been done before, allowing us to develop considerable capability and know-how that has resulted in a world-class manufacturing practice.” 

Wiley X USA, who design and manufacture the eyewear for the global market, has put its full support behind this Australian made initiative and is working closely with the Frontline team to ensure production, quality control and testing meet the required high standards.

The current in-service BLOPS model is the Wiley X Vapor Three Lens System which features polarised lenses, custom laser lenses, helmet-eyewear integration, and capability for prescription lenses.

In 2024, Frontline marks 25 years since Jenny, and husband and co-founder John Hoffman, identified a need to supply quality protective gear for police officers, first responders and other safety and rescue personnel needing specific products and workwear.

The company started its supply operation in 2000 before becoming the exclusive Australian importer and distributor for Wiley X protective eyewear in 2004.

Frontline Safety has been a government contracted supplier of the current in-service BLOPS for the past 17 years and is now the Australian manufacturer under licence.

The latest batch of BLOPS is the fourth and most advanced upgrade in Frontline’s ongoing product development, innovation, and enhancement journey.

Frontline is also a major personal protective equipment and apparel supplier to the United Nations, Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police, NSW, VIC, QLD and WA Police, Australian Defence Apparel, and other defence and industry contractors. 

With a workforce of 18 the firm also provides hands-on project management and production experience for university students undertaking mechanical and electrical engineering studies.

“Despite having a number of opportunities over the years to relocate our company, we’ve stayed committed to keeping Frontline’s supply, and now manufacturing, operations here in Newcastle.” 

“Although only a small set-up we proudly demonstrate that not only can Aussie made be successful, but our products can be world-class when it comes to serving the country’s Defence needs.” 

IMAGE | Jenny and John Hoffman in the Frontline assembly room.

Frontline Safety Australia

Frontline Safety Australia is an innovative manufacturer and supplier of specialised protective and safety equipment and apparel to military, law enforcement, and emergency service first response teams.

Australian owned and operated, the firm is now producing Wiley X ballistic rated protective eyewear under Licence for our defence industry.

Trending Articles

Advertise with us

Affordable and engaging advertising to a business community

Submit an article

Tell your story to the Hunter business community

Does your government business need a little help with its marketing?

Marketing strategies

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.