Thales Australia has signed an agreement with Spanish defence and security firm Expal Systems for the production of critical naval munitions and fuses in Australia.

As part of this agreement, the companies will work together to establish a sovereign capability solution in the country to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and its allies.

The agreement will facilitate transfer of technology to Australia for intellectual property and development of new manufacturing processes to produce critical munitions locally.

It will include 5-inch Charge Propelling (CP) and high explosives projectiles along with advanced fuse solutions.

Thales Australia & New Zealand Land vice-president Corry Roberts said: “Over the past 12 months we have established significant partnerships with some of the worlds’ preeminent munitions providers including EXPAL, to nurture technology transfer to Australia and establish local production capability of critical munitions.

“This is a clear demonstration of the company’s long-term commitment to growing and maintaining an enduring, sustainable and resilient sovereign industrial munitions capability for ADF.”

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Currently, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) uses 5-inch naval munitions, supplied and manufactured separately by Thales in Australia and Expal in Spain.

The latest agreement will allow the RAN to locally access the technology and provide greater supply assurance of the 5-inch munitions.

Apart from this agreement, Expal and Thales have also agreed to collaborate for an extensive research and development programme.

Expal Sales vice-president Luis Abad said: “Our complementary technologies will enhance RAN capabilities and optimise Australian Industrial Capability (AIC).”