Diamond, Northrop Grumman Form Partnership

After shutting down the D-Jet program and laying off most of its employees in Canada early last year, Diamond Aircraft's North American division has been making a quiet comeback. That resurgence was in full evidence with the news yesterday that Diamond Industries Canada and Northrop Grumman are forming a long-term partnership to develop and produce new spy planes at Diamond's headquarters at London Ontario International Airport.

A Northrop Grumman official said Diamond's expertise in propeller aircraft led to a decision to build a facility next to Diamond's Canadian headquarters for the development of manned and unmanned intelligence-gathering aircraft. For the last few years Diamond has been developing an "optionally piloted" military version of the DA-42 twin called the MPP, for multi-purpose platform.

Diamond has slowly hired back many workers in Canada in the last year after laying off the majority of its employees in February 2013. Since then, aircraft production in Ontario has been steadily increasing, the company reports. There was no word on whether or when Diamond planned to hire more workers for the budding Northrop Grumman partnership.

"Collaborating with Northrop Grumman is a great opportunity to bring high-value work to Southern Ontario and to develop new products for domestic and international markets," said Peter Maurer, president and chief executive officer of Diamond Industries Canada. "We're very excited to move forward in this long-term relationship."

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