Thales Australia has revealed plans to invest $4.4m (A$6m) in advanced manufacturing equipment to increase the country’s capacity and capability to manufacture guided weapons.

The large-scale preparation and mixing equipment will be installed at the Commonwealth-owned Mulwala facility in New South Wales, Australia.

According to the company, the new production technology will allow for a 500% increase in the size of rocket motors produced at the facility.

This will also support the manufacture of advanced guided weapons and hypersonic weapons in the future.

The new equipment will be built on Thales’ expertise in manufacturing advanced sovereign munitions for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and other defence industry partners.

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Thales noted that this new equipment will allow the production of more than 90% of the ADF’s current strategic rocket propulsion inventory.

Thales Australia chief executive Chris Jenkins said: “Thales Australia is a strategic partner of the Australian Defence Force and we are committed to investing in the resources and technology necessary to support the ADF and Australian Government’s ambition to accelerate the creation of a Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, boosting skilled jobs and helping secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.”

To make sure that the ADF receives the required domestically produced munitions, Thales Australia has partnered with more than 600 local suppliers and other prime contractors of weapons systems.

In September, Thales Australia and Rheinmetall Defence agreed to manufacture critical weapon components for the ADF’s new Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles.