Lockheed Martin has awarded six new contracts to Melbourne-based manufacturer Ronson Gears over the past 18 months under its Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia. Ronson Gears now has a total of eleven GSC export contracts with Lockheed Martin to supply a range of precision gear components and assemblies for both military and commercial satellite platforms. The Melbourne-based manufacturer was awarded its first GSC Program contract by Lockheed Martin in 2019, becoming the first-ever Australian company to supply gear components that will be carried into space.
As a further reinforcement of the strategic partnership, Ronson Gears was confirmed as part of Lockheed Martin Australia’s industry team bidding to deliver Australia’s military satellite communication (MILSATCOM) solution under project JP9102.
Lockheed Martin Australia’s Chief Executive, Warren McDonald, congratulated Ronson Gears on being awarded its milestone eleventh GSC Program contract. “Ronson Gears’ continued success as part of the Lockheed Martin GSC Program is evidence of the world-class capabilities available in Australia to the space industry,” he said. “Lockheed Martin Australia has a strong track record in developing Australian Industry Capability, and we are proud of the strong partnership we have built with Ronson Gears over the past 2.5 years and supported the transformation of their business.”
According to Lockheed Martin Australia’s Head of Industrial Development, Christopher Hess, Ronson Gears exemplifies the key attributes Lockheed Martin looks for when considering industry partners for its GSC Program. “From the very beginning of the relationship, Ronson Gears has shown the vision, fortitude and commitment to excellence required to compete globally,” he said. “Delivering technical expertise and maintaining the required quality assurance standards are minimum requirements that open the door to a discussion. Ronson Gears made the necessary investments in its people and capabilities, resulting in quantifiable performance discriminators and a clear business strategy to maintain that competitive advantage.”
For Ronson Gears’ General Manager, Gavin New, establishing a global supplier partnership with Lockheed Martin was the realisation of a long-term vision for the business. “As a hands-on, third-generation family business, we have always believed in the quality of our engineering and strived to stay at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing,” he said. “Since 1954 we have engineered gears for all manner of industrial applications, but we knew we would need to invest significantly to be able to manufacture components for use in space. Lockheed Martin provided invaluable support and guidance as we developed our executive team and made capital investments. Once we had the quality systems and technological capacity to compete for space contracts, our focus was on maintaining readiness, so that when the opportunity came we could grab it with both hands.”
The new contracts will provide potential opportunities for Ronson Gears’ downstream suppliers in Australia, including Heat Treatment Australia and Electromold Australia, which provide hardening processes, passivation and magnetic particle inspection for components respectively.