Northrop Grumman Corporation has awarded South Australia-based Mincham Aviation with a contract to provide parts for the US Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) initial production lot.
Mincham Aviation specialises in the manufacture and repair of advanced composite and sheet metal components.
Under the terms of the contract, Mincham Aviation will manufacture aircraft structure components for the first low-rate production lot of four Triton air vehicles.
“We are pleased to be able to further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to developing and fostering capabilities in local supply chains,” said Ian Irving, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.
“We will continue to look to offer opportunities to quality-focused Australian companies to be involved in the production and sustainment of Triton, which will be one of the U.S. Navy’s and Royal Australian Air Force’s key capabilities for many years to come.”
Northrop Grumman also requested Australian companies to provide quotations to provide components for follow-on low rate production lots. These industry opportunities include cables, complex machined and composite assemblies, as well as special tooling and test equipment.
About a month ago, the company awarded the first Australian supplier contract to Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering. The contract was the first given to an Australian company for the Triton and is for the first production lot of the UAS.
Ferra Engineering designs, manufactures, assembles and tests aerospace structures and sub-systems on a variety of military and civil aerospace and defence programs.
Last year, Australia announced its decision to purchase the Triton UAS and its sensor suite. Triton can fly missions up to 24 hours and at altitudes of over 55,000 feet, covering vast areas of ocean and coastal regions. It has a one-of-a-kind sensor suite that provides a continuous on-station presence in a 360-degree field of view for some of the most demanding surveillance missions.
According to the press release by Northrop, both deals were facilitated through the Australian Department of Defence’s Global Supply Chain program, under which international companies such as Northrop Grumman can assess Australian industry and provide them the opportunity to compete for business around the world on a value-for-money basis.