Northrop Grumman partners with Brisbane tech company on Defence work

Brandon How

The Australian subsidiary of US-listed defence company Northrop Grumman has signed a six-year contract with a Brisbane-based electronics engineering company for the supply of secure communication devices.

Northrop Grumman Australia will receive hardware design services and contract manufacturing from IntelliDesign. This will help Northrop meet its existing contracts with the Department of Defence and other government agencies.

The deal does not specify the value of work that will be undertaken, instead serving as a standing offer to support Northrop programs as required. It will initially run for 6 years with the option to extend it out to 10 years.

Northrop Grumman’s SCS-200 system

Initial manufacturing will focus on the SCS-200 system, which is described as a mobile cybersecurity device that allows up to four users to connect to secure networks through any IP network. They will be produced at IntelliDesign’s facility in Seventeen Mile Rocks, Queensland, with the first completed products expected in 2023.

Northrop will also advise IntelliDesign on protecting its infrastructure from cyber threats.  The local manufacture of these devices will enhance domestic supply chain resilience, a orthrop Grumman Australia spokesperson said.

Northrop Grumann Australia currently has standing offers with the Department of Defence to provide “information communication technology” until June 2023, and “support in military messaging” until September 2022. They also have a standing order for “secure deployable communications products and services” with the Department of Home Affairs until August 2024.

Northrop Grumman Asia Pacific general manager Christine Zeitz welcomed the partnership with IntelliDesign.

“Our agreement with IntelliDesign will help ensure Northrop Grumman Australia is able to deliver sovereign, resilient and secure communications capabilities to support Defence and Commonwealth agencies,” Mr Zeitz said.

“Our partnership also creates additional benefits for local small to medium businesses in IntelliDesign’s already established supply chain to become part of Australia’s defence industry and to grow our nation’s sovereign industrial capability.”

IntelliDesign chief executive Matt Bromwich said he hopes the partnership will be maintained in the long run.

“We are immensely proud to be supporting Northrop Grumman with the manufacturing of the SCS-200, a leading-edge communication device. This partnership forms part of our long-term strategy to be Northrop Grumman’s electronic design and manufacturing partner of choice in the development of future communication devices,” Mr Bromwich said.

Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive Chris Deeble previously sat on the Minister for Home Affairs’ Industry Advice Panel, which helped develop Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020. The company was also represented on the New South Wales Cyber Security Standards Harmonisation Taskforce.

Northrop Grumman has worked with the Commonwealth for over 20 years delivering and providing maintenance on a number of programs such as the MQ-4C Triton drone.

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