Northrop Grumman and Queensland-based rocket specialists, Gilmour Space Technologies, have signed an MoU aimed at supporting development of Australian sovereign space capabilities, the companies announced on 25 November.
As an initial task, the two companies will partner on a previously-announced Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) to develop composite rocket tanks for low-cost space transport. The project, which Griffith University and Etamax Engineering, will manufacture composite tanks up to 2m diameter and trial them in rocket flights in an effort to reduce weight and increase reliability.
“It is great to gain the support of Northrop Grumman who, through this investment, have further demonstrated their commitment to grow Australian space capability,” commented Gilmour Space CEO, Adam Gilmour.
Northrop Grumman recently sought expressions of interest from a range of Australian and New Zealand organizations through the Industry Capability Network Gateway Portal, which includes small businesses. The company remains committed to enhancing its business and geographic footprint in Australia as a key contributor to the space industry, with a strong existing national customer base in both defence and civil programmes, established over the last 20 years and more.
“Northrop Grumman aims to lead industry support in developing Australian sovereign space capabilities to help meet the needs of defence and realise the Australian Space Agency vision,” said Chris Deeble, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia. “Our approach is consistent with the Australian government’s recently announced Modern Manufacturing Strategy, to make space hardware in Australia while securing sovereign capabilities in priority areas that includes defence and space.”