New era as F90 assault rifle enters Australian Defence Force service
Thales’s F90 rifle is to enter Australian Defence Force service, marking a new era for our soldiers and their weapons.
The Australian Department of Defence has signed an AUD 100 million contract with Thales to produce rifles, grenade launchers, spare parts and various ancillaries at Thales’s facility in Lithgow, regional NSW.
The F90 is a light, versatile weapon that meets the highest standards of performance and reliability, and has been well-received by soldiers in various trials.
Kevin Wall, Thales’s Armaments Vice President in Australia, said: “Our soldiers deserve the best possible equipment, and the F90 delivers on all counts. Enhancing the Austeyr is the most cost-effective way to deliver a capability upgrade, and we’ve worked closely with Defence and Army units to design, test and manufacture this world-class weapon. We’re now looking forward to getting it into troops’ hands as quickly as possible.”
“The F90 is born from over 100 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise at Lithgow, and this is the latest chapter in Lithgow Arms’ long contribution to Australian military operations.”
In Australian Defence Force service, the rifle will be known as the Enhanced F88 (EF88), marking a significant enhancement of the original Austeyr F88.
Two versions will be delivered – a standard rifle with a 20” barrel, plus a carbine with a 16” barrel. Deliveries to the ADF will begin in the next few weeks and phased over six years.
Thales is currently exploring export opportunities for the F90 in various markets around the world, while also developing further enhancements for the rifle, which is fitted for but not with electronic architecture including centralised power as a key future-proofing measure.
Note to editors
More information about the F90, including a video, can be found here: http://www.lithgowarms.com/portfolio-item/f90/
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 61,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €13 billion in 2014. With over 20,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its unique international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.
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. Employing around 3,200 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues of AUD 1 billion in 2014.