Lockheed Martin Corporation

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Melbourne’s Ronson Gears Shoots for the Stars with Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin satellites first to carry Australian-made precision gear components into space

MELBOURNE, 14 September 2020 – In the last year, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has signed five contracts with Ronson Gears under its Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program agreement with the Commonwealth. This makes the gear manufacturer the first-ever Australian company to supply precision gear components that will be carried into space.

Melbourne-based Ronson Gears is providing prototype gears for the Common Solar Array Drive Assembly (CSADA), which will be utilised on several Lockheed Martin satellite platforms. The CSADA performs key functions, including the deployment and rotation of the solar cell arrays that power the spacecraft. This helps ensure they remain optimally positioned towards the Sun.

Additionally, Ronson has also been awarded a contract for the delivery of anti-backlash output gears. Designed to perform with tight tolerances, these components will be integrated into a subassembly that will be used on several satellite programs.

“The agreements with Ronson Gears reinforce Lockheed Martin’s commitment to developing Australia’s Space sector,” said Joe North, Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive. Our collaboration with local research and industry partners, like Ronson, demonstrates that Australia has the capabilities here and now to participate in Space.”

Exceeding Qualification Requirements

As one would expect, Lockheed Martin follows a rigorous qualification process to ensure gold standard manufacturing practices. It’s critical that the components it uses are designed to withstand the extreme environment of Space. Ronson Gears has met these standards and has proven its ability to maintain precision over the lifetime of the spacecraft.

“Coming from the automotive industry, it was important that we prioritise innovation and invest in digital technologies that could enhance precision across our production processes – especially for a Space environment,” commented Gavin New, General Manager, Ronson Gears. “From our first introduction, Lockheed Martin has been collaborative and supported our vision. We’re proud to be the first Australian company to supply precision gear components that will be carried into space.”

Additionally, Gavin New is the most recent graduate of Lockheed Martin’s Program Management Institute (PMI), with Australia being the only non-United States market approved for non-Lockheed Martin employees to attend.

Expanding Global Supply Chains

Because of the pioneering work that companies like Ronson Gears have accomplished, Lockheed Martin Space procurement teams are continually scanning Australia to identify potential technology partners for its global supply chains. This includes everything from machined parts to software and even propulsion technologies.

“The Global Supply Chain (GSC) Program is uniquely Australian and provides the local market with access to Lockheed Martin’s global programs. We’re continuously identifying new opportunities for Ronson Gears to contribute to our missions, and applaud their dedication to supporting innovative initiatives such as IoT technologies,” added Christopher Hess, Head of Industrial Development, Lockheed Martin Australia.

These agreements also represent downstream supply chain opportunities for Ronson Gears’ partners, including Heat Treatment Australia and Electromold Australia. Their hardening processes and magnetic particle inspection, respectively, are evidence of the world-class capabilities available in Australia to the Space industry.

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About Lockheed Martin Australia

Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. As the world’s largest Space company, Lockheed Martin has an unrivalled heritage in the design and development of small sats, mid-sats and GEO-sats, delivering nearly 800 spacecraft over the last 60 years. 

About Ronson Gears

Ronson Gears has a proven track record of supplying quality engineered components, including for the F-35 Engine Removal and Installation Mobility Trailer, which was designed and developed by Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering. www.ronsongears.com.au

Media Contact

Michelle Scully, Head of Communications Australia and New Zealand, +61 448 032 387

E: michelle.m.scully@lmco.com