Turnbull announces $50 million centre that promises 500 jobs in Western Sydney

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IN PHOTO: Crew members of Thai Airways prepare to disinfect the cabin of an aircraft of the national carrier at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, June 18, 2015
Crew members of Thai Airways prepare to disinfect the cabin of an aircraft of the national carrier at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, June 18, 2015. Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

A new high-tech precinct at Badgerys Creek airport will create hundreds of jobs in western Sydney. Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that US defence industry giant Northrop Grumman will be the first tenant in a new hi-tech defence and aerospace hub at the airport and will employ 500 people.

As it looks to double its workforce in the country, Northrop will invest $50 million in a centre of excellence. “This is a very key element in our defence plan and a key part of our plan for western Sydney,” Turnbull told reporters on Monday as he visited Richmond RAAF Base with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Moreover, the prime minister has committed $5.3 billion to build Sydney’s second airport. The project will produce 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region by the early 2030s, the Daily Telegraph notes.

Berejiklian said Northrop’s Electronic Sustainment Centre of Excellence (ESCE) would produce “'jobs, jobs and more jobs'” for the region and attract more investments.  She added New South Wales will have the ability to become a regional centre for technology, something she described as “fast-growing and much necessary,” adding it is a start of something really great.

Northrop’s facility will build an Australian capability to support advanced electronics and electronic warfare equipment. It will also be designed to service and maintain aircraft and systems.

These include the F35 Joint Strike Fighter and the highly-advanced­ reconnaissance drone, the MQ-4C Triton. The firm, which had a revenue of $24.5 billion last year, will also team up with universities and other institutions to provide training for highly- skilled technicians.

Northrop Grumman International president Dave Perry believes the projects of such type is pivotal to the sustainability of advanced systems in the Down Under. “It will help the development of ADF platforms by lowering the turn around time and costs for mission-critical equipment by doing the work here in Australia,” Sky News quotes him.

According to Northrop, Australia will require more sophisticated defence solutions, as well as increasingly reliant upon complex electronic systems over the coming decades. The company’s ESCE will assist in this effort and maintain mission-readiness capabilities within the Commonwealth.

Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, said the company is “deeply committed to Australia.” He said the investment in a new centre of excellence is Northrop’s next step in its partnership with the Australian Defence Force [ADF] to help ensure regional security and mission success, Manufacturers’ Monthly reported.

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