Thales Australia to expand advanced manufacturing in Lithgow
Defence manufacturer Thales Australia has announced that it has received development approval and will commence construction in February on the first phase of a plan to transform its Lithgow Arms facility in regional New South Wales. The company says the new development will deliver an advanced manufacturing Industry 4.0 plant for the precision manufacture of next generation Australian-designed weapon systems — integrating both traditional precision manufacturing and digital technologies, including 3D printing, and the installation of automated electroplating and other metal treatment capabilities.
The new development will also include a new purpose-built live firing test and evaluation capability to support systems qualification and integration, and the acceleration of research and technology development of digitised small-arms and weapon system platforms.
Late last year, Thales Australia announced over $12 million of investments in new infrastructure and advanced manufacturing capability at the company’s Lithgow and Mulwala facilities, supporting the government’s sovereign munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture priority.
The development at Lithgow will expand the precision-manufacturing capability of Lithgow Arms to support new sovereign manufacturing partnerships for strategic ADF programs, including the company’s partnership with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to manufacture key components for Rheinmetall in support of the Australian Defence Force Land 400 program.
The purpose-built facility will also support collaboration across research institutions, SME partners and key industrial partners to create the soldier systems and small arms of the future, as well as train the next generation of skilled advanced manufacturing workers in the central west.
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. It employs around 3800 people directly and supports over 2051 jobs along its Australian supply chain.
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