Regional businesses manufacturing new Air Force capability in Australia

In a positive sign the wheels of Australia’s defence industry are still turning, regional workers in Benalla, Victoria and Mulwala, NSW, have reached a milestone in delivering Australia’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter capability.

Thales Australia Limited has completed the first production lot of a new Australian-made munition for the Air Force.

The new BLU-111 will have the same range and performance metrics as current General Purpose Bombs but will be significantly safer to store, transport and operate.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, said 15 Australian companies, including five small businesses, were delivering this important capability for Defence.

“This work establishes a strategically important sovereign manufacturing capability to support the Australian Defence Force,” Minister Price said.

“It is a practical example of the Government’s ongoing commitment to domestic manufacturing of munitions, which is one of the 10 Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities under the 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.”

The Government released the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Industry Plan for Munitions and Small Arms Research, Design, Development and Manufacture last year.

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