Home Asia Pacific Australia orders additional Enhanced F88 rifles from Thales

Australia orders additional Enhanced F88 rifles from Thales

EF88 Austeyr rifle
An Australian Army soldier with an EF88 Austeyr rifle at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Photo: Australian Army

The Australian government has announced a contract for the delivery of an additional 8,500 Enhanced F88 (EF88) weapon systems to the Australian Army.

This will supplement the 30,000 weapons that Thales Australia has already been contracted to deliver to Australian defense forces.

“The rifles will be manufactured at the Thales Australia site in Lithgow, New South Wales which employs around 130 Australians,” defense minister Linda Reynolds said.

“This government is 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.

Compared with previous systems, the EF88 rifle has improved the capability of the soldier through improved range, accuracy, ergonomics and reduced system weight.

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.