‘New rifle for ADF’ – reports over-hyped?

Recent media reports about a new weapon for the ADF, which is more lethal and more accurate than previous rifles, looked very exciting and sexy at first glance – but suggestions a new rifle was nearly ready for issue to soldiers are a bit premature, CONTACT thinks.

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Below is the Thales press release on the topic. Compare this to any media reports you may have seen, and judge for yourself…

 

Thales develops the future of soldier weapon systems in Lithgow

  • Thales is building on more than a century of small arms manufacture in Lithgow in developing the soldier weapon systems of the future.
  • The digitised battlespace will require a fundamental technology leap to ensure Australian soldiers maintain a capability edge against emerging threats.
  • This future weapon system is an evolution of the individual weapon and will provide soldiers with an enduring battlefield overmatch.

In order to maintain a capability advantage for Australia’s Defence Forces, the soldier systems of the future will integrate disruptive digital technologies, advanced sensor and targeting equipment and networked communications.

Drawing together advanced manufacturing techniques and materials, Thales’s advanced future soldier weapon system will integrate:

  • cutting edge sensors and targeting systems;
  • biometric security safeguards;
  • tactical network links to enable collaborative engagement
  • enhanced command, control and situational awareness for both individual soldiers and commanders.

Thales’s Lithgow small arms manufacturing facility has been proudly supporting Australia’s soldiers on battlefields around the world since 1912. The future advanced individual weapon system will continue this heritage of manufacturing the world’s most advance systems as the battlespace becomes more digitised and networked.

Building on this century of sovereign capability, Thales’s development of the future soldier weapon system is undertaken in Lithgow, NSW and aligns with the Australian Government’s recognition that the research, design, development and manufacture of small arms is a priority sovereign industrial capability.

“Rapid advances in digital technology bring increasing threats as well as new capabilities. Thales’s future weapon system accelerates the development process for an era of networked warfare.”

Chris Jenkins, CEO, Thales Australia

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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