While the relationship between Australia's defence industry and the Australian government has been one of strong and positive collaboration in recent months, the CEO of one of Australia's largest primes has implored the industry to work together in matching the government's investment.
The release of the 2016 Defence White Paper may have been seen as a watershed moment for Australian defence and unprecedented investment of the Turnbull government, but industry leader and Northrop Grumman Australia CEO is rallying for industry to match the ongoing government investment, both financial and otherwise, to make the $195 billion venture count.
Ian Irving told Defence Connect that there has, arguably, never been a time as exciting and as important in Australia's defence industry as now, bringing with it an opportunity that must be approached with immense professionalism and strong leadership from industry.
"I think it's a tremendously exciting time and that brings with it both opportunity and responsibility. We have to succeed with what we're doing. We've got to be very professional," said Irving.
"We have to match the government's commitment to these programs coming through. That's going to stretch industry. We need to bring the talent involved onboard at the right time and we need to work cohesively together."
Irving conceded that there is much more work to be done if Australia is to get this investment and capability buildup right, but is confident the time and personnel has never been better.
"I think there's an awful lot of work out there that's required and, as I said before, I think it's all about establishing an ongoing, sustainable defence enterprise in this country that can be the foundation of Australia's national security for the future. Great opportunity. We've got to perform and it's a very exciting time for us. Probably as good as I've seen it in this industry."
To hear more from Northrop Grumman Australia's CEO Ian Irving, listen to our podcast here.