Australian defence gets Northrop boost

In a show of faith that the Australia-US alliance can withstand any changes from a Trump administration, one of America’s largest defence manufacturers, Northrop Gruman, will double the staff in its Australian office from 500 to 1000 people, according to The Australian. This move signals a potential strong role in building Australia’s new defence infrastructure.

Ian Irving, CEO of Northrop Gruman’s Australian office, said that the company is trying to invest more in Australia to win tenders for the $A250 billion defence modernisation project.

“We feel we are able to provide the ADF with the many of the things that are going to be needed for the next decade,” he said.

“Australia is moving very strongly to become a very ­modern fifth generation force … this is a trend that will happen ­regardless of what the politics might be.”

Northrop is currently building 25 per cent of the 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which Australia is buying, as well as the aircraft’s radar, communications and navigation systems.

To date, the company’s biggest push into Australia is in drones with the government planning to purchase seven large Triton drones to patrol Australia’s vast northern territorial waters.