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US to expand defence industry presence in Australia

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US primes have marked Australia as a major location for business expansion.

While visiting Rockwell Collins Australia's Sydney headquarters, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said his recent trip to the US was prosperous, with various American defence companies optimistic of an onshore Australian expansion.

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"When I was in Washington I had lunch with five different primes, big US companies, and I just asked them casually what their plans were for the expansion of the Australian workforce, and between those five companies it added up to 5,000 Australian jobs," Minister Pyne said.

The minister said Australia's mammoth $195 billion investment in defence industry under the 2016 Defence White Paper played was largely responsible for this. 

"The rest of the world is looking at the Australian commitment to our military capability and our buildup and recognising that they want to be here as part of that," Minister Pyne said.

The minister met with Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and chief executive of key prime Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin's Australian branch currently employs over 750 people and is headquartered in Canberra.

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Recently, Australia has seen its defence industry partnerships with the US flourish, with Canberra-based technology company Electro Optic Systems announcing it secured a $150-170 million contract to supply remote weapon systems products to Virginian-based US firm Orbital ATK.

Hunter-based advanced engineering and manufacturing company Varley Group also announced a $10 million partnership with US defence avionics company Coherent Technical Services Inc at the 2017 Avalon Airshow. 

Aviation operations and engineering company Air Affairs Australia also signed a memorandum of understanding with Kratos Unmanned Systems Division to collaborate in Australia.

 

US to expand defence industry presence in Australia
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