Gilmour Space Technologies and Northrop Grumman have announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of sovereign space capabilities in Australia.
The MoU comes after Northrop Grumman sought expressions of interest from Australian and New Zealand companies through the Industry Capability Network (ICN) gateway portal to identify and collaborate with industry to develop Australian space capabilities.
“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,” Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive, Chris Deeble said in a statement. “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.”
Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour added that he was excited to work with Northrop Grumman. “It is great to gain the support of Northrop Grumman who, through this investment, have further demonstrated their commitment to grow Australian space capability,” he said.
“With the right support, we will see innovative, well capitalised, and highly capable Australian space companies like Gilmour Space emerge as future Australian space primes. We look forward to working with Northrop Grumman on delivering for our nation as we work to launch our first commercial payloads to orbit in 2022.”
The companies said an initial task under the MoU will see the two companies partner on a previously announced Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) to develop composite rocket tanks for low cost space transport. The CRC-P – which also includes Griffith University and Etamax Engineering – will manufacture composite tanks up to two metres in diameter and trial them in rocket flights, in an effort to reduce weight and increase reliability.