L3Harris and NIOA announce guided weapons collaboration in Australia

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company, and Australian-owned defence prime NIOA have announced a strategic agreement to explore the manufacturing of critical guided weapons components in Australia.

The agreement anticipates the future assembly and manufacture of rocket motors, boosters and warheads for munitions within the Aerojet Rocketdyne portfolio. This portfolio covers the wide range of weapons within Australia’s sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise.

"As part of a world-leading technology company, Aerojet Rocketdyne is pleased to embark on this project to bring rocket motor and warhead manufacturing to Australia,” said Ross Niebergall, President, Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Our company is uniquely positioned to provide the intellectual property for a wide range of propulsion systems used by the Commonwealth. Growing our capability in Australia will provide opportunities for Australian companies to contribute to the global supply chain for guided weapons.”

Speaking on the eve of the INDO PACIFIC 2023 international defence exhibition in Sydney, NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa said, “As a 100% Australian-owned company, NIOA is excited to be entering this strategic agreement with Aerojet Rocketdyne to address critical munitions priorities for Australia.

“Ultimately we aim to create a multi-user rocket motor facility that will not only support our portfolio of offerings but will also have capacity and flexibility to support future strategic partners to meet the guided weapon demands as identified by the Australian Defence Force as well as adjacent industry sectors like space.

“This logical grouping of the main elements of the rocket motor, warhead and booster supply chains can deliver economies of scale that will maintain the production volumes needed to sustain critical skillsets. Forward deployed logistics and co-production initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region with Australia’s close allies are central to our model. This facility will also boost regional employment and will provide substantial opportunities for local companies to get involved in the supply chain.”

The Australian Government’s Defence Strategic Review released earlier this year emphasized the rapid establishment of a domestic GWEO manufacturing capability. The government responded by committing $2.5 billion to accelerate a sovereign industry to improve the Australian Defence Force’s self-reliance and the nation’s export capacity.

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