The Australian Government’s objective of expanding the sovereign guided weapons capability took off today after Thales Australia conducted a safe test firing of a sovereign rocket motor.
The testing of locally designed and manufactured Jones rocket motors continues the expansion of Australia’s sovereign defence industrial and manufacturing capabilities by evaluating local rocket motor nozzle design and materials.
The Mulwala manufactured Jones rocket motor was co-designed with Southern Launch, an innovative Australian SME that provides launch services, bespoke rocket subsystems and operates the Koonibba Test Range, Australia’s first licenced launch site for overland suborbital rocket testing.
Dion Habner, Managing Director of Australia Munitions 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.
“Testing activities are a routine part of operations in Australia’s sovereign munition manufacturing facility at Mulwala.”
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 skilled staff to manufacture munitions systems for the ADF and allied forces.
Employing around 3,900 people, Thales in 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.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.
Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of €17 billion.
About Southern Launch
Southern Launch is an innovative space company providing launch services, launch sites and bespoke rocket subsystems and designs to customers. Southern Launch offering includes the suborbital Koonibba Test Range, Australia’s only Australian Space Agency licenced launch facility, and is developing the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex, located at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula to support orbital launches into the highly sought after polar and sun synchronous orbits.
The Australian company is a privately owned and headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia.