Sierra NevandaThales Australia has completed construction on a new advanced manufacturing building at the company’s Lithgow Arms site, the home of sovereign small arms and integrated weapons systems manufacturing in Australia.

Deputy NSW Premier and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole inspected the new facility which is currently being fitted out with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. Funding for the new advanced manufacturing building has been supported by the NSW Government via a $1.12 million grant from the NSW Regional Job Creation Fund Round 2 to help grow the state’s advanced manufacturing capability in regional New South Wales.

The funding will be matched dollar for dollar by Thales Australia and will be invested in modern manufacturing capability and equipment at Thales’ Lithgow site with the aim of creating a further 56 jobs to increase production capacity on both military and civil manufacturing lines, as well support export growth over the next three years.

The grant further builds on Thales Australia’s $70 million investment over the past decade to develop the Lithgow facility to create a modern manufacturing and integration hub for the design, development and precision manufacture of next generation weapons systems for the ADF and our industrial partners and export customers.

Thales Australia contracted the design and construction of the new advanced manufacturing facility to Australian family and employee-owned construction and fit out firm, FDC Construction. Local to Sydney and delivering complex and important facilities nation-wide, FDC employs over 550 Australians and has worked with Thales on other significant projects including Navy support facilities at Garden Island in New South Wales, Thales corporate headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park, and other defence critical facilities around the country. The new building at Lithgow will expand the world-leading precision-manufacturing capability of Lithgow Arms to support new sovereign manufacturing partnerships for strategic ADF programs.

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 Vice President Land Julie Bown said the investment in new advanced manufacturing capability at Lithgow Arms would ensure the 110-year history of manufacturing at the site could continue long into the future. “Thales Australia is proud of our stewardship of this critical industrial capability that has supported the ADF and allies for more than a century. In an uncertain world it is vital that Australia maintains its sovereign manufacturing capability to prepare for all contingencies and our investment at Lithgow reflects our commitment to continue providing advanced capability that’s made in Australia.”

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