Boeing highlights $5 million supplier development program for satcom team


Aerospace and defence company Boeing has announced that it has committed over $5 million to an 18-month development program involving seven suppliers on the team which intends to build satellites under the JP9102 program.

According to a statement from Boeing on Tuesday, over 100 manufacturing and support jobs were being created under its plans for JP9102, a program which will deliver the Australian Defence Satellite Communication System. 

Suppliers Quickstep Holdings, Crystalaid, Ferra, Nupress, Cablex, Lovitt, and Levett were named as having signed memorandums of agreement to be part of the project. (See diagram.)  

“These seven local suppliers will manufacture a wide variety of products from complex bus, payload and solar array composite structural assemblies to circuit card assemblies, harnesses, and various mechanism and machine part assemblies,” said Kathryn Burr, JP9102 Program Manager.

“We are investing in these partnerships ahead of the JP9102 down-select decision. We are helping these suppliers to build the capability they need to be part of Australia’s space sector and will actively look for opportunities for them to be part of our broader supply chain for Boeing Defence Australia and Boeing Space and Launch.”

The development program began last month.

Tender submissions for JP9102 were accepted until January 10, with other bids including those led by Airbus, Lockheed Martin Australia and the Optus/Raytheon Australia/Thales Australia Team AUSSAT.

Quickstep CEO Mark Burgess said that the Boeing proposal would see his company make over 50 new hires, “and, as important, create the capability for Australian industry to build and test satellite structures locally.”

Cable and harness assembly business Cablex said it expected to as many as 40 new roles in the event of a successful bid.

“With Boeing’s support, we will leverage and evolve our existing capabilities in electrical wiring and interconnection systems, electromechanical assemblies, avionic bays, consoles and electrical enclosures to create a world-class space and satellite manufacturing capability,” said CEO Michael Zimmer.

As well as the seven listed above, Boeing’s team includes additive manufacturing partnerships with RMIT University and Titomic, as well as Saber Astronautics, Clearbox Systems, Leidos, ViaSat, and the Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium.

Pictures: Boeing

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