UMIS ImageThales Australia has welcomed Pat Conroy, Minister for Defence Industry, to officially open the company’s new advanced manufacturing facility at Lithgow in regional New South Wales.

The opening of the new facility is a key milestone in the first phase of Thales’s ambitious industrial plan to transform its Lithgow Arms site into an advanced manufacturing 4.0 and integration hub 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 electro-plating and other metal treatment capabilities.

The new facility will house 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.

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 of New South Wales.

Lithgow Arms currently exports its world-leading small arms to 17 countries and has been a key industrial partner to the Australian Defence Force providing small arms and weapons systems, as well as providing end to end logistics and sustainment, to its soldiers for more than a century.

Julie Bown, Vice President of Land, Thales Australia and New Zealand, thanked Minister Conroy, the Commonwealth and the NSW Government for their continued support of Thales’ Lithgow Arms facility.

Bown said “Thales Australia is a proud and committed steward of sovereign industrial capability in this country, and has taken this role seriously since our acquisition of ADI more than two decades ago. Lithgow Arms is the home of the only small arms manufacturing capability in Australia and we are proud to be a major employer in regional NSW. Our workforce is highly skilled and multi-generational. Lithgow Arms has a proud and distinguished 110-year history of sovereign small arms production for Defence and this is part of a plan for the next phase of production.”


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