The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison, has announced an accelerated process for establishing an Australian guided weapons manufacturing capability.
Australian manufacture of guided weapons will deliver long-range strike and deterrent capability to the ADF.
Local manufacture will also generate jobs and provide a boost to Australian suppliers.
Thales Australia welcomes the announcement by the Prime Minister today of an acceleration in Australia’s development of sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability.
The Government’s commitment to advanced guided weapons manufacture in Australia is strategically important and will also generate jobs, particularly in regional Australia.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the Australian manufacture of guided weapons was a key element of Australian self-reliance in long range strike and deterrent capability. It would also drive the development of local supply chains linking advanced manufacturing capabilities, research agencies and high tech SMEs.
“Thales Australia provides core industrial capabilities for guided weapons production including manufacture of high performance propellants and explosives for warheads, solid fuel rocket motor manufacturing and associated R & D and support services,” Mr Jenkins said.
“These critical munitions manufacturing capabilities are delivered by Thales Australia and our suppliers through the Commonwealth owned facility at Mulwala. Scaling up production of military-grade rocket propellant, high explosives, solid fuel rocket motors and boosters from Mulwala will be essential to achieve the ADF’s goal.
“The significant capital investment made by the Commonwealth in the Mulwala facility over the past decade, combined with Thales Australia’s multi-million dollar investment in R&D on advanced propellants means the facility can respond quickly to the accelerated plan outlined by the Prime Minister today.
“An expansion of the production capabilities at Mulwala is already underway with the acquisition of new production technology.
“We have well established relationships with international partners and an extensive local supply chain of more than 1300 Australian companies that will enable the expansion of these key industrial capabilities with additional investment. It will generate jobs in regional NSW and Victoria in addition to the more than 600 employees of Thales Australia across the Mulwala and Benalla munitions manufacturing sites.”
“Increasing Australia’s industrial capability will build Australia’s self-reliance and the capability of the broader Australian advanced manufacturing sector, which is vital to delivering a capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force.”
Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, Thales Australia
About Thales in Australia
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 1,700 jobs along its Australian supply chain. In 2019 Thales Australia spent $522 million with 1,362 Australia suppliers, of which 70% are SMEs.
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.