Orbital booms on engine sales to Boeing offshoot


Perth’s Orbital Corporation has announced booming sales of $19 million in the first six months of the 2021 financial year as it gears up production of two small drone aircraft engines for Boeing offshoot Insitu Inc.

The company revealed revenue of $19 million, up from $11.4 million in the previous corresponding period, as it ramped up production in Australia and the United States of two unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine types.

Orbital UAV and Insitu have a long term agreement that makes Orbital prime engine supplier to the company.

Five engine types are covered by the agreement, and a third engine model is now under development at Orbital.

The production line for the third typoe will be located in Perth.

CEO Todd Adler said: “Throughout 2020 we proactively managed the additional risks brought about by Covid-19, managing our global supply chain and distribution network and implementing measures within our operations to keep our teams safe while continuing to manufacture.

“With the outstanding commitment of our people in Perth and Hood River we have been able to deliver a solid financial result for the half year, an increase of 67 per cent on the same period last year.”

Orbital’s first half revenues, only $2.2 million two years ago, have risen spectacularly as it cements its position with Insitu.

The company is also pursuing other customers including Northrop Grumman and a major Singapore defence contractor.

Orbital said Insitu has signalled a slower pace of engine purchases, and it now expects full year revenues to be between $30 million and $40 million.

Orbital’s shares fell on the ASX on the announcement and were down 19.6 per cent to 90 cents by mid-morning.

Picture: Orbital UAV

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