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Australia signs AU1.1bn munitions manufacturing agreement with Thales

Benalla munitions plant
Photo: Australian defense department

The Australian defense department and Thales Australia have signed a new agreement for the company’s continued management and operation of munition factories in Benalla (Victoria) and Mulwala (New South Wales).

The AU$1.1 billion agreement provides surety of supply of key munitions and components for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said the announcement means the manufacturing sector can retain local skills and expertise.

“This agreement with Thales Australia will continue to maintain a safe and compliant operation, and increase our domestic capacity to manufacture key munitions in support of ADF operations,” Reynolds said.

“Mulwala and its sister facility in Benalla are the home of munitions manufacturing in Australia, generating vital job opportunities in regional New South Wales and Victoria.

“We’ve developed and implemented a plan to grow munitions and small arms capability in Australia, as one of our sovereign industrial capability priorities,” Australian defense industry minister Price said.

“It’s about identifying critical capabilities for the ADF, strengthening our defence industry, and creating new opportunities.”

The new agreement underpins the renewed strategy of multi-tenancy at the Benalla and Mulwala factories and ensures access and support to other companies, particularly small to medium enterprises for munitions manufacturing.

Thales added that this contract would enable it to secure more than AUD 450 million in export and non-ADF orders over the coming 10 years.