Thales Australia and Rheinmetall Defence have signed a contract to manufacture key components for the Rheinmetall MK 30-2 cannon capability in support of the Australian Defence Force Land 400 program.
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) conduct a live-fire shoot from a Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle at the Wide Bay Training Area, Queensland. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Leading Aircraftman John Solomon.
Thales Australia’s Lithgow facility in regional New South Wales has commenced manufacturing 30mm cannon components for Rheinmetall Defence Australia, leveraging the support of 16 current and new Australian small-to-medium (SME) suppliers.
First samples manufactured in Australia have already passed quality control checks by Rheinmetall Defence in Germany.
For more than a century, Lithgow has been the home of small-arms manufacturing, proudly supporting Australia’s soldiers on battlefields around the world.
This new manufacturing partnership builds on this distinguished heritage, creating approximately 10 new jobs and supporting 130 jobs on site.
The partnership will also look at transferring to Australia the manufacture and sustainment of a range of mounted weapons, combining Thales Australia’s deep manufacturing expertise and domestic supplier base with Rheinmetall’s world-class mounted weapons.
Through substantial technology transfer to Australia in support of a number of Defence projects, and with an aim of 100% Australian Industry Capability, this partnership will be a significant driver of growth in Australia’s sovereign capability, boosting investment in SMEs, R&D and delivering long-term jobs.
Chief Executive Officer Thales Australia Chris Jenkins said increasing Australia’s industrial capability would build Australia’s self-reliance and the capability of the broader Australian advanced manufacturing sector, which was vital to delivering a capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force.
“Thales Australia has built a national industrial ecosystem to support the delivery of capability to the Australian Defence Force,” he said.
“In 2020 alone Thales Australia spent $657m with 1841 Australian firms, 82% of which were SMEs.
“Thales Australia’s recent supply chain analysis with Accenture demonstrated that there is a substantial economic benefit from domestic defence spending, delivering thousands of jobs through hundreds of business across the nation.”