French owned defence contractor Thales has conducted a safe test firing of a sovereign rocket motor (pictured), adding to the momentum building behind the manufacture of guided weapons in Australia.
The testing of a locally designed and manufactured Jones rocket motor evaluated local rocket motor nozzle design and materials.
The Mulwala manufactured Jones rocket motor was co-designed with Southern Launch, which operates the Koonibba Test Range in South Australia, Australia’s first licensed launch site for overland suborbital rocket testing.
Managing director of Australia Munitions Dion Habner said the rocket motor firing was a core risk mitigation step in a joint program with Southern Launch to expand Australia’s sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability.
“This represents a critical milestone in the return to routine rocket motor manufacturing at the Mulwala Munitions facility.
“In the late 1990s advanced warhead and rocket motor facilities were established at Mulwala and since then advanced warheads, military rocket motors and ignition systems have been safely manufactured on site.
“Every day, high explosives and propellants are produced for systems used by Australian and allied forces, including the explosive effectors for GBU-12 aerial laser-guided bombs.”
Thales Australia works with more than 600 Australian suppliers in this and other local defence projects.
Thales 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, employing over 650 staff.
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