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  • Writer's pictureThe Hon. Paul Toole MP


As announced early last year, the new building will house a modern manufacturing and integration hub for the design, development and precision manufacture of next generation weapons systems for the Australian Defence Force, industrial partners and export customers and is part of Thales Australia’s industrial plan to transform their Lithgow Arms business.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said it was great to see the new building finished and start being fitted out with state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment. The NSW Government has provided $1.1 million for the purchase of the equipment.

“The $6.5 million investment from Thales to fund the new facility here in Lithgow shows that this industry is going to be in Lithgow for a long, long time and will bring with it more high paid, highly skilled job opportunities,” Mr Toole said.

“This hub will be a new era for the factory that not only secures existing advanced manufacturing jobs here in Lithgow, but will continue to create new jobs into the future.

“This is a significant driver of the local economy because investments like this will ensure Lithgow has a strong future, and will go from strength to strength as we move forward.”

Thales Australia’s Director Integrated Weapons and Sensors Matthew Duquemin said it won’t be long until the new building is up and running.

“Construction of the building is complete and installation of the interior fit out of state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment has commenced and is expected to be operational by mid-year,” Mr Duquemin said.

“There has been over $70 million of investment by Thales Australia in the Lithgow facility that has included new equipment and product development over the past decade, making the continuation of delivering truly Australian, truly sovereign weapons and weapons systems capabilities now and into the future possible.”

The new building will also provide facilities to enable collaboration across research institutions, SME partners, and key industrial partners to create the soldier systems and small arms of the future. New technologies will include 3D printing, as well as the installation of automated electro-plating and other metal treatment capabilities. A new purpose-built live firing test and evaluation capability will support systems integration of existing and new technologies for developmental advanced weapons systems such as the Digital Battle Rifle.

Since 1912, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory has proudly supported Australia’s soldiers in every major conflict and employed over five generations of local workers.


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