The government has committed to purchasing an additional 8500 Australian made Enhanced F88 (EF88) rifles.
FILE PHOTO: EF88 comes from the manufacturer in black, but can be painted by the user. ADF photo.
VIEW CONTACT’S ASSESSMENT OF EF88 HERE
This will supplement the 30,000 weapons Thales Australia is already contracted to deliver to the ADF.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this additional acquisition of rifles would not only improve the overall capability of the Australian Defence Force, but would also provide a welcome boost to the workforce in regional Australia.
“The rifles will be manufactured at the Thales Australia site in Lithgow, New South Wales, which employs around 130 Australians,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This acquisition is just another example of the nationwide benefits of the government’s unprecedented investment in defence capability, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
“It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to building a strong and sustainable defence industry.
“[We] are doing all we can to help the Australian economy recover from COVID-19.
“The purchase of these additional EF88 weapon systems will provide certainty to the workforce at Lithgow and support jobs in regional Australia.”
This acquisition will allow the retirement of older weapons, reducing the cost of sustainment, maintenance and training.
These additional weapons, which are being delivered under the lethality element of the Soldier Modernisation Program, will enable increased access to the EF88 across the full and part-time force, particularly Army’s 2nd Division.
Compared with previous rifles, the EF88 has significantly improved the capability of the Australian soldier through improved range, accuracy, ergonomics and reduced system weight.