Thales Australia has announced a $6 million investment in state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment at the Commonwealth owned Mulwala facility in regional New South Wales, to rapidly accelerate sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability. Thales’s investment in new large-scale preparation and mixing equipment will enable a 500% increase in the size of rocket motors able to be manufactured at Mulwala, supporting production of advanced guided weapons and hypersonic weapons.
On committing to this strategic investment in sovereign manufacturing capability, Thales Australia’s Chief Executive, Chris Jenkins, said: “Thales Australia is a strategic partner of the Australian Defence Force and 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.
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, enabling 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. It represents 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 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 the nation’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 highly skilled people in the development and manufacture of munitions systems for the ADF and allied forces. This investment will support significant growth in Defence industry skills and capability.
Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Thales Australia employs around 3,800 people directly and supports over 2,051 jobs along its Australian supply chain. In 2020 Thales Australia spent $657 million with 1,841 Australia suppliers, of which 82% are SMEs. Since 2018 Thales Australia has spent over $1.9 billion with local Australian businesses. Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high-quality solutions for Australian and export markets, generating revenue of $1.6 billion in exports over the past 10 years.