Axiom and Nupress get the nod for Orion spacecraft program


Lockheed Martin has selected Axiom Precision Manufacturing and Nupress Group as global supply chain partners for the Orion spacecraft program, part of NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision to look to the pair for precision-machined component supply followed a rigorous evaluation process, “focusing on their substantial cost-saving proposals, exceptional customer responsiveness and reduced lead times.”

Both had established themselves as industry partners on the F-35 program, and were identified as potential partners for Orion during a roadshow led by Lockheed Martin’s Office of Australian Industrial Participation team.

Craig Maynard, General Manager of Axiom, said his company is proud to contribute to the program. 

“This new partnership with Lockheed Martin exemplifies our dedication to precision, innovation and embracing complex challenges, and we look forward to our expanding role in advancing space exploration,” said Maynard.

Nupress CEO Craig McWilliam added that “This opportunity reinforces our commitment to world-class manufacturing that delivers successful outcomes. We are excited to continue our journey in the space sector and work with Lockheed Martin to support NASA’s missions to the Moon”.

Since receiving their space quality certifications, Axiom has so far secured one contract while Nupress has already secured two. The contracts were awarded under Lockheed Martin’s Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Orion Production and Operations Contract (OPOC) is described by Lockheed as “an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, [encompassing] up to twelve vehicles, divided into three or four different orders.” 

As many as six additional Orion spacecraft may be ordered under the IDIQ contract, leveraging production cost data from the previous six missions to enable optimised unit prices.

Warren McDonald, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, said the two companies “exemplify the vast industrial capability available in Australia. 

“Their commitment to quality and innovation aligns perfectly with Lockheed Martin’s dedication to delivering excellence. This is an example of how the Global Supply Chain program has allowed us to partner with and provide opportunities for Australian industry to shape the future of defence and space exploration.”

Picture: Rendering of the Orion spacecraft as it will fly during the Artemis I mission (credit Lockheed Martin)

Further reading

Nupress wins F-35 Lightning engine contracts

Axiom Precision and K-TIG collaborate on defence welding

K-Tig to work with Bisalloy and Axiom Precision in defence

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