Thales Australia announced today it will invest $6.5 million in the first phase of an industrial plan to transform its Lithgow Arms facility in regional New South Wales.
Phase 1 of the plan will establish a modern manufacturing and integration hub for the design, development and precision manufacture of next generation weapons systems. This phase of the new development will integrate both traditional precision manufacturing and digital technologies, including 3D printing, and the installation of automated electro-plating and other metal treatment capabilities. It will also include a new purpose-built live firing test and evaluation capability to support systems integration, and the acceleration of research and technology development of digitised small-arms and weapon system platforms.
The new development will expand the precision-manufacturing capability of Lithgow Arms to support new sovereign manufacturing partnerships for strategic ADF programs, including the recently announced partnership with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to manufacture key components for Rheinmetall in support of the Australian Defence Force Land 400 program.
“Our future systems include automated and augmented features enabled by modern networked sensors and sovereign Artificial Intelligence while the system architecture is being developed to support integration with next generation soldier systems. Our industrial plan is designed to support the manufacture, maintenance and upgrade of our future systems and seeing this first phase come to life is very rewarding for our Lithgow teams,” said Graham Evenden, Director Integrated Weapons & Sensors.
The precinct will also provide facilities to enable collaboration across research institutions, SME partners, and key industrial partners to create the soldier systems and small arms of the future, and secure the next generation of manufacturing and engineering skills in Lithgow and across the Central West.