Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett today officially opened the new Asia Pacific headquarters of Exelis, one of the United States’ leading defence and aerospace companies, which will create 68 new jobs in Melbourne.
Recently named by Aviation Week as the top performing US defence company in its category, Exelis employs about 17,000 people worldwide, with annual revenues of US$4.8 billion.
Mr Hodgett, who recently met with Exelis at their global headquarters on a Defence Trade Mission to the USA, said Exelis was the first top-tier global defence firm to establish its regional headquarters in Victoria, with a view to conducting business right across the Asia Pacific.
“Having Exelis’ Asia Pacific headquarters in Melbourne significantly enhances Victoria’s position as one of the region’s foremost centres for communications technologies innovation,” Mr Hodgett said.
“This new Melbourne office will accommodate Exelis’ increased workload, and includes a purpose-built laboratory facility for research and development, systems integration, product development and testing capabilities for local and export opportunities.
“In addition to providing a marketing presence for the greater Exelis group, this office will also focus on developing technologies for the air traffic management (ATM) industry.
“This project will see key technology systems, engineering and management expertise transferred from the US to Melbourne to support the business expansion.”
In 2013, Exelis acquired Melbourne-based defence systems company C4i to establish its presence in Australia. The Victorian Coalition Government has engaged extensively with Exelis both locally and in the US to secure its commitment to expand its Melbourne operations and establish its Asia Pacific headquarters here.
Exelis C4i CEO Peter Harrison said the company looked forward to expanding its presence and brands in Australia and across the Asia Pacific.
“Our new St Kilda Road facility in central Melbourne gives us much more room to grow. Indeed, we expect to double our workforce over the coming years. And we’ve plans for future growth underway,” Mr Harrison said.
“They are spurred by the region’s robust engineering talent, growing market opportunities and support from the Victorian Government.”
Exelis’ Vice President, International Government Relations, Chris Tucker said the Asia Pacific’s growing role in the global economy was a key factor in the company’s decision to establish headquarters in Melbourne.
“We are now ideally placed both geographically and in terms of our overall service offer and product line-up to cater for the growing demands of this region,” Mr Tucker said.
“By working closely with the Victorian Government, Exelis has built a state-of-the-art headquarters; a facility which encompasses research and development (R&D), testing and systems integration.
“Importantly, our new St Kilda Road headquarters provides a base for Exelis’ technical expertise which delivers affordable, mission-critical solutions for global customers.”