With the May announcement of Northrop Grumman’s plans to build a $50 million ‘centre of excellence’ at the new Badgerys Creek airport in western Sydney, Northrop Grumman Australia’s chief executive told Defence Connect the company will also seek to grow its Richmond facilities.
CEO Ian Irving joined Defence Connect to discuss the company's decision to invest $50 million into an electronics maintenance and sustainment centre in NSW, noting the appeal of Badgerys Creek's university, defence industry and workforce proximity.
"It really makes sense for us ... we've got this $50 million investment in electronics repair capability we wanted that to be in location that made sense from a supply chain point of view, from the point of view of having great workforce availability, university proximity and that new defence industry precinct, the university precinct out there at Badgerys Creek that's being developed, it just seems perfect for us to be able to do that, so we stepped up and said we would be a foundation tenant at that location," Irving said.
Irving said he was confident in the company's decision, and the government's, that the investment in the area is one that will be of benefit to both NSW and the nation.
"Personally, I'm very pleased to see the government moving forward with the initiative," he said.
"I think it's an extremely exciting program for the nation and not just for Sydney but for the whole nation, we wanted to be a part of that as a ground floor tenant if you like, to get that advantage [and] the exciting things about that precinct, the university campus that will be out there, the workforce that will generate from that in a greenfield site, you don't often get a chance to do that."
The former vice president of land systems and deputy CEO at Thales Australia said, along with the $50 million investment at Badgerys Creek, the company's investment in electronics repair capability will begin at the RAAF Base Richmond at Hawkesbury, NSW, and will play a key part in growing the company's footprint in Australia
"So we're starting with our investment – it will start at Richmond as we're building up this electronics repair capability, we want that to be a growing hub for us in the greater Sydney area. Some of our project work and some of our other sustainment work will probably hub out of that facility as well. So it will be on a growth path, start small but it will start to become what we consider to be one of our key facilities in the country."
Northrop Grumman Australia currently operates its Integrated Defence Services, formerly Qantas Defence Services, from the RAAF base where it performs depot-level maintenance, repair and modification of C-130H Hercules aircraft, including structural and mechanical components.
In the last four years, Northrop Grumman Australia has grown from four people to over 500.