Federal government to invest $220 million at Benalla and Mulwala factories


The federal government has announced that it will invest $220 million in munitions production at the Commonwealth-owned factories in Mulwala in New South Wales and Benalla in Victoria.

According to a short statement on Friday morning, the investment will support

  • infrastructure redevelopments at each site – ensuring they are equipped to support future production demands, such as 155mm artillery ammunition,
  • new explosive mixers at Mulwala, and
  • enhanced munition manufacturing procedures, including non-destructive testing.

The sites are operated by Thales Australia (trading as Australian Munitions), the largest supplier of explosive ordnance to the Australian Defence Force. 

Benalla produces ammunition, explosive ordnance and other munitions, and Mulwala is focussed on propellants and explosives

Capacity for “resonant acoustic mixing” technology developed by Defence would be beefed up at Mulwala. This will increase output of  BLU-111(AUS) aerial bombs, used by the Royal Australian Air Force, as well as “a broader range of advanced munitions, faster and more safely.”

“The ability to bring the BLU-111(AUS) into operational service as an Australian manufactured munition is a significant milestone in boosting Australia’s defence industry manufacturing capability,” said industry minister Pat Conroy.

Conroy said the two sites were essential for the nation’s ability to develop critical propellants, explosives and munitions.

“Our investment in these capabilities will accelerate the domestic manufacture of Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance, such as 155mm artillery ammunition,” he added.

Picture: credit Thales

Further reading

Australia and France collaborate in supplying Ukraine

Lockheed Martin, Thales advance GWEO manufacturing ambitions

Thales to make 155mm artillery shells at Benalla


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