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L3Harris and NIOA Announce Guided Weapons Collaboration in Australia

7 November 2023

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Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies [NYSE:LHX] company, and Australian-owned defence prime NIOA have announced a strategic agreement to explore the manufacturing of critical guided weapons components in Australia.

The agreement anticipates the future assembly and manufacture of rocket motors, boosters and warheads for munitions within the Aerojet Rocketdyne portfolio. This portfolio covers the wide range of weapons within Australia’s sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise.

"As part of a world-leading technology company, Aerojet Rocketdyne is pleased to embark on this project to bring rocket motor and warhead manufacturing to Australia,” said Ross Niebergall, President, Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Our company is uniquely positioned to provide the intellectual property for a wide range of propulsion systems used by the Commonwealth. Growing our capability in Australia will provide opportunities for Australian companies to contribute to the global supply chain for guided weapons.”

Speaking on the eve of the INDO PACIFIC 2023 international defence exhibition in Sydney, NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa said, “As a 100% Australian-owned company, NIOA is excited to be entering this strategic agreement with Aerojet Rocketdyne to address critical munitions priorities for Australia.

“Ultimately we aim to create a multi-user rocket motor facility that will not only support our portfolio of offerings but will also have capacity and flexibility to support future strategic partners to meet the guided weapon demands as identified by the Australian Defence Force as well as adjacent industry sectors like space.

“This logical grouping of the main elements of the rocket motor, warhead and booster supply chains can deliver economies of scale that will maintain the production volumes needed to sustain critical skillsets. Forward deployed logistics and co-production initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region with Australia’s close allies are central to our model. This facility will also boost regional employment and will provide substantial opportunities for local companies to get involved in the supply chain.”

The Australian Government’s Defence Strategic Review released earlier this year emphasized the rapid establishment of a domestic GWEO manufacturing capability. The government responded by committing $2.5 billion to accelerate a sovereign industry to improve the Australian Defence Force’s self-reliance and the nation’s export capacity.

About L3Harris Technologies

L3Harris Technologies is the Trusted Disruptor for the global aerospace and defense industry. With customers’ mission-critical needs always in mind, our more than 50,000 employees deliver end-to-end technology solutions connecting the space, air, land, sea and cyber domains.

About the NIOA Group

  • The NIOA Group includes NIOA Australia, NIOA New Zealand, the Australian Missile Corporation, Barrett Firearms (USA) and Joint Venture company Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions.
  • Established in 1973, NIOA is the largest Australian-owned supplier of firearms, weapons and ammunition to the Australian and New Zealand defence forces, law enforcement agencies and commercial markets.
  • NIOA is a major tenant at the Australian government owned, contractor operated (GOCO) munitions facility at Benalla in Victoria where it is manufacturing 120mm munitions for the Abrams tank along with 30mm and 35mm cannon ammunition.
  • The company is a joint venture partner with Rheinmetall of Germany in the Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions forging factory in Maryborough, Queensland, delivering key munitions for allied nations and the ADF.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and economic conditions. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements about future collaboration and manufacturing are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. L3Harris disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies Company, VP of Strategy Andrew Crickenberger (left) and NIOA Australia-NZ CEO Ben James seal the two companies’ collaboration agreement ahead of INDO PACIFIC 2023 in Sydney.

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