Defence will acquire 8,500 world-class, Australian-made Enhanced F88 (EF88) weapon systems from Thales Australia to improve the overall capability of the Australian Defence Force and boost the workforce in regional Australia.
The rifles, which will supplement the 30,000 weapons that Thales Australia will deliver to Defence, will be manufactured at the company’s site in Lithgow, New South Wales that employs around 130 Australians.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said these additional weapons will allow the retirement of older weapons, reducing the cost of sustainment, maintenance and training.
“This acquisition is just another example of the nationwide benefits of the Morrison Government’s unprecedented investment in defence capability, particularly in rural and regional Australia,” the Minister continued.
“It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to building a strong and sustainable defence industry.
“This Government is doing all we can to help the Australian economy recover from COVID-19. The purchase of these additional EF88 weapon systems will provide certainty to the workforce at Lithgow and support jobs in regional Australia.”