News & Events

Defence Trailblazer and Northrop Grumman accelerate sovereign quantum communication technologies for the Australian Defence Force

8 November 2023

8 November 2023 — UNSW Sydney and Northrop Grumman Australia are partnering to develop new sovereign capability for the Australian Defence Force. In conjunction with Northrop Grumman Australia & Professor Robert Malaney (UNSW Sydney), the project will work to enable ultra-secure communications that would be impervious to adversarial attacks in the electromagnetic spectrum.

“The intent of the Defence Trailblazer Program is to support the commercialisation of Australian technologies that will have a material benefit to the Defence sector in Australia. The partnership between Northrop Grumman Australia and UNSW under the Defence Trailblazer brings together a powerhouse of expertise, capabilities and knowledge to demonstrate new sovereign capability for the Australian Defence Force at speed and at scale”, said Sanjay Mazumdar, Executive Director of Defence Trailblazer.

The Quantum Communications project and others being stood up under the Australian Government’s Trailblazer Universities Program are expertly supported by the state-of-the-art capabilities in Northrop Grumman Australia’s Parallax Labs. Northrop Grumman is also supporting two PhD students through the Defence Trailblazer’s industry-led higher degree research scholarship program to work on the Quantum Communications project.

Northrop Grumman Australia invests in research and development across a number of leading Australian universities. The company provides funding and expertise for research across a range of future technologies that are support Australia’s strategic interests.

“By investing in Australia’s defence research pipeline across all stages of technology readiness, Northrop Grumman Australia is helping to facilitate innovations to advance a more capable sovereign defence industry”, said Christine Zeitz, the company’s Chief Executive and General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

Northrop Grumman Australia is an industry partner in the Defence Trailblazer, one of the six Trailblazers recently established as part of the $370 million Trailblazer Universities Program, an Australian government initiative to build new research capabilities, drive commercialisation outcomes and invest in new industry engagements.

The Defence Trailblazer: Concept to Sovereign Capability is a collaborative partnership between the University of Adelaide and UNSW, supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Education. In collaboration with over 40 industry partners, academia and government, the Defence Trailblazer aims to strengthen Australia’s defence capabilities by developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions, while simultaneously equipping the next generation of innovators with specialised knowledge and skills to meet the current and future needs of Defence.

Image (from left): Dr Derek W. Reinhardt, Dr Margaret Law, Chris Keane, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar, Emily Ouro, Dr Dushy Tissa, Professor Robert Malaney, Professor Julien Epps

Media contact:  Ilsa Stuart, Senior Partnerships Manager, 0402 260 771,