Northrop Grumman [NOC] on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire the defense services business of Australia’s Qantas Airways Limited, expanding its capabilities and footprint in Australia.

Northrop Grumman will pay about $71 million for Qantas Defence Services Pty Limited QDS), which supports the Australian government on a number of programs, including the Royal Australian Air Force Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet, turnkey operational logistics services for VIP aircraft, and engine overhaul services for the Orion P-3 and Hawk Lead-in Fighter. The company also provides engineering and consulting services to the Royal Australian Navy and other maritime customers.

RAAF C-130H being worked on at QDS facility. Photo: QDS

QDS also has contracts with customers outside of Australia, including a recent award from Indonesia to refurbish C-130H aircraft.

According to QDS’ web site, the company does about $125 million in annual sales. The deal is expected to close in 2014.

Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman’s chairman, president and CEO, said the acquisition furthers the company’s international strategy and complements existing integrated logistics and modernization efforts.

The pending deal for QDS follows an acquisition last year by Northrop Grumman of Australia’s M5 Network Security, which provides cyber security and secure mobile communications to Australian military and intelligence organizations. Northrop Grumman has also invested in Australian radar and electro-optics companies and is working with the country’s Department of Defence to help industry there compete within its global supply chain.

The agreement to acquire QDS was made by Northrop Grumman Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman.