• One of the many rifles the facility manufactures is the state-of-the art F88 SA2 Austeyr rifle.
    One of the many rifles the facility manufactures is the state-of-the art F88 SA2 Austeyr rifle.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade and Investment and Minister for Regional Infrastructure Services Andrew Stoner has congratulated Thales Australia’s Lithgow-based soldier systems manufacturing facility on reaching its 100-year anniversary.

Stoner said the Lithgow facility, which is a major manufacturer of rifles for Australian soldiers, has a long and proud history in NSW.

“The Lithgow factory opened in 1912, manufacturing rifles and bayonets for the Australian military during World War I.

They were also crucial supporters of the war effort during World War II, expanding production to include Vickers machine guns and Bren guns.

Today, the expanded Lithgow facility manufactures the state-of-the art F88 SA2 Austeyr rifle, and supports other weapons currently used by the Australian military," said Stoner.

“It is also involved in the development of an enhanced rifle known as the EF88, which will represent a significant upgrade for the Australian Defence Force," Stoner added.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole joined Mr Stoner in congratulating Thales.

”Not many facilities in Australia can boast of manufacturing a product continuously for 100 years, and Thales Australia is to be congratulated for its ongoing efforts in maintaining and expanding the Lithgow facility’s output,” Toole said.

Thales Australia Chief Executive Officer Chris Jenkins said the Lithgow facility’s ability to manufacture, maintain and upgrade infantry weapons made it a strategic national asset central to Australia’s security.

“We are proud that this facility can mark its 100-year anniversary still ensuring Australian soldiers have some of the best infantry weapons available in the world, and I congratulate all our past and present employees for their dedication over many years,” Chris said

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