Thales makes second big investment in Australian factories

French defence contractor Thales has announced its second major investment in its Australian manufacturing facilities in a month, committing a $6 million investment in state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment at the Commonwealth owned Mulwala facility in regional New South Wales.

The investment, to accelerate sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability, follows close on a $6.5 million commitment to the first phase of a plan to redevelop its Lithgow Arms facility, creating a new manufacturing and integration hub for next generation weapons systems.

The latest investment goes to new, large-scale preparation and mixing equipment which will enable a 500 per cent increase in the size of rocket motors able to be manufactured at Mulwala, supporting production of advanced guided weapons and hypersonic weapons.

Thales said in a statement: “Building on Thales’s 25-year in-country legacy of manufacturing world-leading sovereign munitions for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and strategic Defence Industry partners, the new equipment will deliver a step-change in Australia’s sovereign capacity to produce guided munitions.

“(This will enable) the manufacture of more than 90% of the ADF’s current strategic rocket propulsion inventory and delivering the capability to manufacture future guided and hypersonic weapon systems.”

Thales said the investment represented a significant acceleration and scaling up of Australia’s guided weapons manufacturing capability to produce large rocket motors essential for advanced guided missiles.

Thales Australia’s Chief Executive, Chris Jenkins, said: “We are committed to investing in the resources and technology necessary to support the ADF and Australian Government’s ambition to accelerate the creation of a Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, boosting skilled jobs and helping secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.

“Thales Australia works with more than 600 Australian suppliers and a large range of weapons systems Primes to ensure the ADF receives the locally manufactured munitions they need.”

Thales Australia is Australia’s largest manufacturer of munitions, propellant and military explosives and manages the government owned contractor operated (GOCO) sites in Benalla, Victoria and Mulwala, New South Wales.

Together they employ over 650 highly skilled people in the development and manufacture of munitions systems for the ADF and allied forces.

Picture: Thales Australia

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