JP9102 is the name for the $3 billion project to create a new military satellite communication capability for Australia, which it’s hoped will eventually reduce the country’s reliance on the United States.
Boeing is competing against a host of other major contractors, including Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Optus, with a decision expected later this year.
On Wednesday, Boeing said it had selected a number of Brisbane based firms to be involved in its supply chain process, which it picked based on factors such as their facilities, processes and quality controls.
“This investment is being made ahead of the JP 9102 down-select decision with a view to building Australia’s broader space manufacturing capability and potentially open doors to Boeing’s global supply chain,” said Burr.
One of the companies selected to work with Boeing in February, Quickstep, has already begun to strengthen the partnership, recently visiting Boeing headquarters in the US.
The trip was used “to get a deep understanding of capital, tooling and materials to perform test work for space parts along with intellectual property transfer requirements,” said Burr.
Quickstep CEO and managing director Mark Burgess said that Boeing’s JP 9102 program was a significant manufacturing opportunity for the Australian industry and would provide a range of benefits to Quickstep and other Australian manufacturers.
“Boeing’s proposal is directly aligned to the requirements of the National Space Manufacturing roadmap and would create more than 50 jobs at Quickstep and, as important, create the capability for Australian industry to build and test satellite structures locally,” said Burgess.
Boeing anticipates further engagement in the Australian space manufacturing industry, with hopes to create a large supplier base within Australia.
“Space manufacturing is a relatively new industry for Australia, so most of the manufacturers we are speaking to are eager about the opportunity to begin building space products,” said Burr.
The tender closed on 10 January with a final decision expected by the end of this year.
Liam McAneny is a journalist who has written and edited for his University International Relations journal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong in 2021. He joined Momentum Media in 2022 and currently writes for SpaceConnect and Australian Aviation. Liam has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations as well as astronomy.
Send Liam an email at: [email protected]
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