Mincham Aviation has won an Australian supplier contract from Northrop Grumman for the US Navy's MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) initial production lot.
South Australia-based Mincham Aviation will manufacture aircraft structure components for the first low-rate production lot of four Triton air vehicles. This Australian second supplier contract follows one awarded in July to Ferra Engineering for mechanical sub-assemblies.
"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 US Navy's and Royal Australian Air Force's key capabilities for many years to come." Ian Irving, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia said.
Northrop Grumman's engagement with Mincham Aviation and Ferra Engineering were facilitated through the Australian Department of Defence's Global Supply Chain program.
Under the Global Supply Chain initiative, 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.
Australian companies have also received requests from Northrop Grumman for 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.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his government's intent to purchase the Triton UAS for high-altitude, long-endurance surveillance missions in March 2014.
Triton can fly missions up to 24 hours and at altitudes of over 55,000 feet, covering vast areas of ocean and coastal regions. Its unique sensor suite provides a continuous on-station presence in a 360-degree field of view for some of the most demanding surveillance missions.