• Image Credit: Defence
    Image Credit: Defence

Thales has appealed a judgement made by the Queensland Supreme Court related to the issues involving the underslung 40mm grenade launcher on the AusSteyr EF88 rifle.

"Since the judgement was handed down on 26 July 2021 Thales has carefully assessed its options for an appeal," a spokesperson said. "We have lodged an appeal with the Queensland Court of Appeal on the basis that Thales was incorrectly found liable based on inferences that were not supported by the evidence, and in some respects were contrary to the evidence.

"The appeal is against both the breach of confidence and the misleading and deceptive conduct rulings. We look forward to the matters being heard by the Court of Appeal, most likely in 2022."

The design changes under investigation involve the underslung 40mm grenade launcher impairing the ability of the rifle to fire its regular round. Once the soldier fired a grenade from the rifle, the gun was unable to fire a normal bullet without the operator having to take corrective action.

There were two main issues discussed by the Court: first, whether Thales used the ‘Madritsch KG IP’ in their own, internally developed solution; second, it was alleged (by Madritsch/NIOA) that Thales acted in a manner that comprised ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ under s18 of the Australian Consumer Law Act. 

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