Thales and EXPAL boost 5″ naval ammunition manufacture


French group Thales Australia and global defence and security firm EXPAL Systems S.A. (EXPAL) have joined forces to establish an Australian sovereign manufacturing capability for large calibre naval munitions and fuses.

The agreement will facilitate the technology transfer to Australia of Intellectual Property to develop manufacturing processes that will enable the local production of critical munitions including, five inch (127 mm) Charge Propelling (CP) and high explosives projectiles, as well as advanced fuses.

The Royal Australian Navy has standardised large weapons to the Mark 45 – five inch naval gun, utilising munitions that are manufactured and supplied separately by both EXPAL in Spain, and Thales in Australia.

The new agreement between Expal and Thales will provide the RAN greater ‘on demand’, localised access to five inch technology, and greater surety of supply.

The two companies have also agreed to an extensive R&D program, providing a roadmap to the Australian Defence Force for five inch munition technology enhancement including, munitions offering longer range, reduced sensitivity and precision strike capability.

Thales Australia & New Zealand vice president, Land, Corry Roberts said: “Over the past 12 months we have established significant partnerships with some of the worlds’ preeminent munitions providers including EXPAL, to nurture technology transfer to Australia and establish local production capability of critical munitions.

“This is a clear demonstration of the company’s long-term commitment to growing and maintaining an enduring, sustainable and resilient sovereign industrial munitions capability for the Australian Defence Force”.

EXPAL sales vice president Luis Abad said: “We are looking forward to intensifying the cooperation with Thales Australia and provide our Naval Munitions expertise.

“Our complementary technologies will enhance Royal Australian Navy capabilities and optimize Australian Industrial Capability (AIC).”

Picture: Stuart Harpoon Missile firing and five inch gun

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