Thales Australia will manufacture an additional 8,500 EF88 rifles for the Australian Defence Force.
The Lithgow designed and manufactured EF88 Austeyr rifle is manufactured under licence from Steyr Mannlicher AG and is in service with 30 countries.
The rifle rifle fires standard 5.56 x 45 millimetre ammunition with the latest version delivering increased range and accuracy.
Thales said in a statement its highest priority was ensuring Defence capability and maintaining advanced manufacturing of small arms in Lithgow.
“Over the past three years, Thales’s small arms business has directly supported a supply chain of 300 Australian firms, achieving around 95 per cent Australian content in the EF88.
“Thales is strongly committed to continuing the 110 year heritage of small arms manufacturing in Lithgow, with more than $70m invested over the past 10 years in equipment, site facilities and R&D.”
Thales’s Lithgow Arms employs 150 people and also supply’s New Zealand forces.
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