The government is investing $220 million in munitions production at the government owned contractor operated (GOCO) factories in Mulwala in New South Wales and Benalla in Victoria, managed by Thales Australia.
“I welcome the Government and Minister Conroy’s announcement to invest in this critical capability will support the significant step-change in technology development and innovation necessary to continue to grow a highly skilled workforce and create the advanced manufacturing jobs of the future,” said Jeff Connolly, Thales Australia and New Zealand CEO.
The investment will fund infrastructure redevelopments at each site, including 155mm artillery ammunition, new explosive mixers at Mulwala, enhanced munition manufacturing procedures, and non-destructive testing.
Developed by Defence, the new resonant acoustic mixing technology in place at Mulwala will produce a broader range of advanced munitions, and increase the capacity for production of the BLU-111(AUS) aerial bombs, used by the Royal Australian Air Force.
“Improving Australia’s ability to manufacture the munitions our defence force needs is not only critical to meeting the strategic challenges we face as a nation, it will also support local industry and well-paid, skilled local jobs," said Pat Conroy, Minister for Defence Industry.
“The Albanese Government’s investment in these cutting-edge technologies demonstrates we are delivering on the Defence Strategic Review’s recommendations to develop advanced munitions manufacturing in Australia. The Mulwala and Benalla munition factories underpin Australia’s ability to develop critical propellants, explosives and munitions for the Australian Defence Force.”