Gilmour Space Technologies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global aerospace giant Northrop Grumman to develop Australia's space capabilities.
The deal is a major coup for the Gold Coast-based rocket builder and will see it work alongside one of the top 200 companies in the US.
With more than 90,000 employees and annual revenue in excess of US$30 billion Northrop Grumman is one of the world's largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers.
Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour (pictured left) said the company is excited to work with Northrop Grumman on this opportunity.
"It is great to gain the support of Northrop Grumman who have further demonstrated their commitment to grow Australian space capability," he said.
The CEO said the next five years will be a critical time period for Australia to develop a world-class sovereign space industry.
"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," he said.
"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."
As an initial task under the MOU, Northrop Grumman will join Gilmour Space as an industry 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 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.
"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," said Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive Chris Deeble (pictured right).
"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."
Business News Australia