Capabilities in Australia
Integrating multi-domain operations, from seabed to space, in commitment to Australia’s future.
Northrop Grumman Australia is comprised of great people delivering cutting-edge capability across multiple domains. From high performing legacy programs to complex future capability, we are committed to our customer’s ongoing mission success and national security.
Our established relationship with the Commonwealth of Australia stems from decades of delivering trusted aircraft sustainment and modernisation services and sovereign secure communications capability. These two business areas form our Sustainment and Modernisation Services and Integrated Systems Operating Units, now encompassing a breadth of multi-domain operations such as the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System, satellite communications and advanced weapons systems and ammunition.
Sustainment and Modernisation
Northrop Grumman Australia is one of the top three aviation sustainment businesses in Australia and has been a trusted and committed sustainment and modernisation partner to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for over two decades.
Delivering long-term aviation maintenance support for RAAF’s KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, C-27J Spartan and Special Purpose Aircraft fleets, Northrop Grumman Australia also provides sustainment services at its Electronic Sustainment Centre.
Our sustainment and modernisation business operations legacy began in 1999 through Qantas Defence Services (QDS). QDS provided critical sustainment and modernisation to RAAF fixed wing military aircraft for 14 highly successful years. Northrop Grumman absorbed QDS in 2013 and has proudly maintained many of the staff, relationships and capabilities that the iconic Qantas brand had established.
Since 2018, Northrop Grumman Australia’s Sustainment and Modernisation Services Operating Unit has secured additional work and the workforce has increased by 40 per cent. We continue to grow and evolve to meet our customers’ sustainment and modernisation needs at strategically positioned sites in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, RAAF Base Amberley, the BMMC Hangar at Brisbane Airport, RAAF Base Richmond in Western Sydney, and Fairbairn in Canberra.
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Northrop Grumman Australia leverages world-leading systems and platforms to deliver effective system-of-systems integration across all domains, from seabed to space. Combining global reach back with local expertise and heritage, we provide effective solutions to complex requirements in support of critical Government programs.
Our Integrated Systems Operating Unit builds on a decade of delivering trusted satellite and secure communications solutions to Australian military and intelligence organisations. Since acquiring Australian SME M5 Network Security in 2012, the business continues to deliver sovereign secure communication capabilities to various Government departments and customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman Australia is currently the prime system integrator on the Commonwealth’s Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B2, providing satellite communications capability for the ADF.
Expanding and diversifying to encompass leading edge capabilities such as Integrated Air and Missile Defence, the Operating Unit is now focused on system-of-systems integration across air, land, sea and space.
With the majority of employees concentrated in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, the business maximises use of virtual engineering environments through our state-of-the-art systems integration, advanced mission visualisation and demonstration facility, Parallax Labs.
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Sustainment and Modernisation
Special Purpose Aircraft
Northrop Grumman Australia provides Through-Life Support (TLS) services supporting the Commonwealth’s Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA) VIP fleet operated at RAAF Fairbairn, Canberra. In 2018 Northrop Grumman Australia was awarded a rolling wave TLS services contract to provide sustainment, logistics, maintenance, engineering and training services to support the Commonwealth’s updated SPA fleet.
The SPA fleet consists of two Boeing Business Jets and three Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft. This fleet provides transport to Government and Commonwealth officials within Australia and overseas. This includes members of the Royal Family, the Governor General of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia, senior members of the Australian government and other dignitaries.
Northrop Grumman Australia is responsible for providing serviceable aircraft for operations to No. 34 Squadron who execute SPA missions. Ensuring the SPA fleet remains of the highest possible calibre is of vital importance to Australia for representation on the world’s stage.
KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport
For over 10 years, Northrop Grumman Australia has provided Through-Life Support (TLS) services for the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). The KC-30A TLS Enterprise supports a fleet of seven aircraft and is considered the ‘tanker of choice’ by coalition partners in deployed operations. During operations, the KC-30A performs airborne refuelling of iconic RAAF aircraft such as Joint Strike Fighters, Super Hornets, Growlers, Wedgetails, Globemasters and a broad range of allied partner aircraft. Beyond providing combat support, the KC-30A provides long-haul transportation of ADF personnel, up to 34 tonnes of underfloor cargo capacity and support to international VIP missions, including the Prime Minister and senior government official visits.
The Northrop Grumman Australia KC-30A team provides all aspects of Through-Life Support to the KC-30A MRTT fleet, including overall stewardship of the platform, 24/7 logistics, supply chain and engineering services, heavy aircraft maintenance, fleet planning and operational support, training services, capability development and project management support.
Our Brisbane Maintenance and Modification Centre (BMMC) team at Brisbane Airport perform scheduled deeper maintenance checks, major modifications, refuelling boom and pod servicing and unscheduled maintenance activities. Tasks such as facilitating the weapon system management framework through to integrated operational maintenance support are all performed by our team at RAAF Amberley in close partnership with No. 86 Wing, 33 Squadron and the Heavy Air Lift Systems Program Office.
Northrop Grumman Australia has worked with RAAF as the prime TLS contractor for its C-27J Spartan Light Tactical Fixed Wing fleet since 2017. Today, the C-27J Spartan fleet consists of 10 aircraft forming a critical airlift capability for RAAF missions. The C-27J Spartan also provide aid to humanitarian missions in remote locations thanks to their unique size and airlift capability.
Primarily deployed in the Pacific region, the C-27J Spartan plays a key role in the Government’s Pacific Step-up strategy. Based at RAAF Amberley, our employees work side-by-side with No. 35 Squadron to support these missions and contribute to the strong relationships Australia has formed in this region.
Northrop Grumman Australia’s C-27J team are also located at RAAF Richmond working closely with No. 84 Wing and Air Lift Systems Program Office. Management of the C-27J Spartan goes beyond standard sustainment and maintenance operations. Our team provides logistics, supply chain and engineering services, fleet planning, capability development and project management support to ensure the fleet reaches and maintains an optimised level of performance throughout their use in the ADF’s air mobility capability.
Electronic Sustainment Centre
Northrop Grumman Australia, in partnership with the ADF, established the Electronic Sustainment Centre (ESC) in 2017. The ESC makes it possible for Northrop Grumman Australia and the ADF to expand capability across the domains of air, sea, land and cyberspace through the repair and planning of next generation mission systems. ESC repair and overhaul capabilities include radar, navigation, communication and electronic warfare systems.
This capability is unique in Australia, which means the ADF can prioritise in-country support. Becoming self-reliant in this capability allows Defence to keep costs low and significantly speed up repair pipeline processes.
The ESC is an example of Northrop Grumman Australia’s investment in Australian science, technology, engineering and mathematics capability. Our ESC staff located at RAAF Richmond in Western Sydney are highly skilled in advanced electronics and mission-critical systems. These skills are transferrable and highly valuable to the ADF workforce of tomorrow.
Autonomous ISR & Targeting Systems
MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System
Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions.
Triton will be equipped with a unique and robust mission sensor suite that provides 360-degree coverage on all sensors, providing unprecedented maritime domain awareness, target acquisition, fisheries protection, oil field monitoring and humanitarian relief. Additional features allow the aircraft to descend and ascend through harsh maritime weather environments to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed, which will be invaluable in the protection of Australia’s territorial waters and in support of regional partners.
The Australian Government has, to date, funded three Tritons to support a wide range of missions including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence and communications relay.
Northrop Grumman initiated the build process for Australia’s first Triton in October 2020, with the aircraft due to roll off the production line in 2023 and commence flying in our skies in 2024. Australia’s Tritons will be delivered in the same multi-intelligence configuration as the US Navy Tritons and Australian crews will leverage the US Navy’s experience and lessons learned through participation on the Cooperative Program. The identical capabilities will allow the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and U.S. Navy to share data and maintain an unblinking autonomous intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capability over some of the world’s most critical maritime regions.
In August 2021, Northrop Grumman Australia successfully delivered the Triton Network Integration Test Environment (NITE) to the Commonwealth of Australia ahead of schedule, marking another milestone in the Triton program. Developed by Northrop Grumman and based at RAAF Base Edinburgh, NITE will support Chief Information Officer Group to configure and test the array of Triton network interfaces and systems prior to the delivery of the first aircraft to Australia in 2024.
Triton builds on Northrop Grumman’s legacy of success in autonomous systems. Based on the proven Global Hawk UAS and built for the U.S. Navy, Triton can fly for more than 24 hours at a time, at a max altitude above 50,000 feet and an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles.
Weapons and Armament
Medium and Large Calibre Ammunition and Gun Systems
We are a leading producer of medium and large-calibre tactical and training ammunition, providing the Australian Defence Force with ammunition for their Abrams main battle tanks, Apache attack helicopters and medium calibre ship-based weapons stations. Looking to the future, we will provide ammunition capabilities that increase the capabilities of weapon systems to meet peer and near peer threats through the development of new, advanced ammunition types that include advanced armour penetration, airbursting, proximity fused and multipurpose warheads for systems ranging 20mm to 120mm.
Likewise, the Northrop Grumman Bushmaster® Chain Guns® are integrated with Australia’s Redback infantry fighting vehicle, Apache attack helicopter fleet, as well as providing medium calibre cannons for naval weapons stations.
Northrop Grumman has developed the Precision Guidance Kit
(PGK) for 155mm artillery systems. The PGK transforms
conventional artillery projectiles into precision weapons simply by
replacing common multifunction fuses with a kit that provides both
fuse function and GPS-based guidance capabilities that reliably
deliver artillery projectiles within 50 metres of the intended target.
Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile
Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) is the premier supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system with advanced capability to perform the Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD/DEAD) mission. Upgrading legacy AGM-88B/C HARM systems to AARGM provides a key capability to U.S. and allied forces to suppress and defeat enemy surface-to-air radar systems. AARGM is able to rapidly engage traditional and advanced land-and sea-based air defence threats, as well as non-radar, time-sensitive strike targets. Leveraging a digital receiver set, GPS/INS guidance, digital terrain data base and the state of the art millimetre Dwave (MMW) terminal guidance seeker, AARGM provides pilots with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats.
AARGM is currently integrated on the Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler and deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated in the German and Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance aircraft.
Northrop Grumman’s next generation AARGM Extended Range (AARGM-ER) program, for the U.S. Navy, is building upon AARGM, and currently in production.
Integrated Air and Missile Defence
Joint Air Battle Management System
Northrop Grumman offers an open, modular system-of-systems approach and architecture via its Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS). This openness, which can network and integrate across all domains, delivers a system that is interoperable and joint by design.
Short Range Air Defense
Northrop Grumman’s Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) capabilities, including FAAD C2, protect US and allied forces from a wide range of manned and unmanned air and missile threats. Our capabilities use sensors, weapons, and command control to acquire, track, verify, engage and defeat incoming threats, and are built on an open systems architecture that enables integration of a variety of sensors and solutions to defeat current and future threats.
Space and Satellite Communications
Leveraging Northrop Grumman Corporation’s 60 years of space heritage, we are well placed to help Australia develop, sustain, and grow truly sovereign space capabilities.
Northrop Grumman Australia’s capability in space includes our current work as the prime system integrator on the Commonwealth of Australia’s Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B2. This project provides the Satellite Communications Ground Station-East (SGS-E), and wideband satellite communications Network Management System (NMS) for the Australian Defence Force. SGS-E significantly increases the ADFs capacity to anchor satellite communication services and demonstrates Northrop Grumman Australia’s ability to design, build, and sustain critical defence infrastructure. The NMS establishes Northrop Grumman Australia as a software integrator that can partner to deliver a cyber-hardened system, designed to meet the specific needs of Defence.
Secure Network Solutions
Northrop Grumman Australia provides trusted cyber and intelligence services to our customers, offering end-to-end development, deployment and integration of capabilities complemented by a sovereign product development practice.
We design and deliver innovative, vendor agnostic, secure communications solutions; making critical information accessible and secure from anywhere in the world. Our expert team of primarily Canberra-based engineers work across a range of highly secure communications capabilities, including the Secure Communications System (SCS) comprising SCS-100 and SCS-200 devices, supported by a Deployable Management Systems (DMS).
Northrop Grumman Australia’s SCS solution enables deployed individuals and teams to efficiently, securely, and cost-effectively access and exchange classified data across multiple domains simultaneously.
Designed for use by non-technical personnel, the SCS devices feature intuitive graphical user interfaces that allow one-touch set up and simple configuration. Using commonly available bearers, such as Wi-Fi, cabled internet, and mobile telephone networks, each device can manage multiple simultaneous external connections and select the optimal communications path based on performance and/or cost, whilst also acting as a hotspot.
Through convenient, simultaneous access to multiple secure networks, customers including the Department of Defence and Department of Home Affairs have simple, secure network access, wherever the mission takes them.
Northrop Grumman’s seabed-to-space advanced multi-domain maritime capabilities enable current and future maritime missions. With systems and sensors fielded on Virginia class submarines, Hobart Class DDG, Hunter Class FFG, E-7A Wedgetail, MQ-4C Triton, and space-based assets, all connected by cyber secure communications and networks, Northrop Grumman is positioned to operationalise the Royal Australian Navy’s Plan Pelorus Navy strategy.
AQS-24B Minehunting System
Northrop Grumman's uncrewed mine detection, classification and identification system is the only deployed and operationally proven, high-speed mine hunting system in the world, with operational speeds of up to 18 knots. The AQS-24B high-speed synthetic aperture sonar-based mine-hunting system uses a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time detection, localisation and classification of mines at high coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification.
Components of Northrop Grumman’s AQS-24B Minehunting System are manufactured in Australia, creating opportunities for local partners to be leveraged into our global supply chain, and the establishment of a sovereign industrial base to support potential future Australian sustainment of the mine hunting sensor.