Thales Australia and Expal join forces on sovereign naval munitions capability
Amid broader Australian efforts to enhance sovereign defence manufacturing capabilities, Thales Australia has signed a collaboration agreement with Spanish company Expal Systems to produce ammunition for five-inch (127mm) naval guns and advanced fuzes.
The new agreement includes technology transfer to Australia and intellectual property transfer to ‘support the development of new manufacturing processes that will enable the local production of critical munitions’, Thales Australia explained on 29 June.
Expal and Thales already separately provide the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with ammunition for its five-inch guns, but the new agreement will see the two companies provide improved on-demand access and ‘greater surety of supply’, Thales noted.
In addition, Expal and Thales agreed to an ‘extensive’ R&D programme to give the Australian Defence Force a technology enhancement roadmap for five-inch munitions, with a focus on extending the range, reducing sensitivity and providing a precision strike capability.
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