Thales Australia has today unveiled concept plans for the future of Lithgow Arms – a precinct to develop and manufacture the next generation soldier weapons systems of the future Australian Defence Force.
In order to maintain a capability advantage for Australia’s Defence Forces, the soldier weapons systems of the future will integrate both traditional manufacturing and digital technologies, including 3D printing, advanced optical and targeting equipment and digitally networked communications.
Thales’s plans envisage drawing together these advanced skills and industrial capability in this next generation precinct to maintain an enduring, resilient and world leading sovereign industrial capability for the Australian Defence Force in Lithgow.
The precinct will also integrate trade and 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.
“Since 1912, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory (now known as Lithgow Arms) has proudly supported Australia’s soldiers on battlefields around the world,” said Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins.
“Thales Australia is seeking to build on this distinguished heritage to create the Sovereign Industrial Capability Precinct in Lithgow. This precinct will position Lithgow at the forefront of more than $2 billion of domestic and significant export opportunities in the next ten years.
“Lithgow has been the home of small arms manufacturing for over a century, and Thales is seeking strong support from the Government to secure its future both for the next generation soldier weapons systems and the skilled workforce behind the defence force.”
With 65,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €16 billion in 2018.