Thales boosts collaboration at Lithgow Arms business

Defence contractor Thales Australia’s Lithgow Arms business in regional NSW has opened its doors to greater collaboration to help grow the capabilities of its Australian SME and industrial partners.

Lithgow Arms has established a Small Arms Collaboration and Cooperation Centre (C3) housed inside the Lithgow Arms small arms factory.

It is designed to break down costly barriers to entry for SMEs and industrial partners by providing ready access to Lithgow Arms resources and equipment, engineering skills and expertise.

Fostering an interest-based learning model, collaborators within the C3 are able to securely share areas of expertise to advance skills, collaborate on research and design, and seek manufacturing support to accelerate sovereign small arms innovation and design in support of defence, commercial, and export markets.

Early adopters of the C3 – Southern Cross Small Arms (SCSA), Hosico, A.W. Bell and Wedgetail Industries – are already working with the Lithgow Arms team in areas such as prototyping, test and evaluation, qualification, industrialisation and advanced manufacturing.

Current projects underway within the C3 include creating 100 percent Australian made commercial products for sporting shooters and the farming industry.

The most notable success story of the C3 is the recent collaboration of Thales Australia, Rheinmetall Defence Australia and SME, A.W. Bell, that led to the successful Australian manufacture of key components for Rheinmetall’s Mk30-2 cannon by Lithgow Arms.

A.W. Bell are now applying their casting expertise to explore an increase in component manufacture for armoured vehicles in Australia.

Thales Australia’s recently invested $6.5 million in the first phase of an industrial plan to transform the Lithgow Arms facility.

Picture: Thales Australia

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