London company lands drone contract

The Triton unmanned aircraft system is shown completing its first flight from the Northrop Grumman...

The Triton unmanned aircraft system is shown completing its first flight from the Northrop Grumman manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California in this handout photo released by the U.S. Navy. Northrop Grumman/Alex Evers/Handout via Reuters

Norman DeBono, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:53 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- The city has landed another U.S. defence giant, adding drones to its growing list of military wares.

Northrop Grumman, a $25-billion-a-year company, is partnering with Diamond Aircraft in a London operation to make surveillance aircraft, a sector in which the U.S. company is a world leader.

"We are very, very happy with this announcement," said Peter Maurer, chief executive of Diamond.

"Northrop Grumman is a fantastic company to work with. We look forward to it."

The move builds on Diamond's legacy of supplying trainers for several U.S. flight schools. Diamond's Austrian parent also makes surveillance aircraft, Maurer added.

The first surveillance aircraft could roll out of Diamond's London plant before year-end.

The first models will be manned aircraft based on planes now made at Diamond. But the company is looking to "evolve" to make unmanned aircraft, commonly known as drones, in London.


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