9 February 2018
Central West company Lithgow Arms is competing on the international stage against some of the world’s biggest defence manufacturers with a bid to meet the needs of the Indian Army by supplying it with its F90/EF88 rifles.
The Thales-owned company, which has been building firearms in Lithgow for over 100 years, has been a quality supplier of weapons to the Australian Defence Force since World War One and through to operations in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2015, Thales signed a $100 million contract for Lithgow Arms to manufacture 30,000 of its EF88 rifles for the Australian Defence Force.
Lithgow Arms is now looking to expand its military sales to international markets and, if successful in a current contract bid, will supply 80,000 state-of-the-art rifles to the Indian Army, providing a boost to its NSW operations and 130 strong workforce.
Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair has welcomed the Commonwealth's recently released Defence Export Strategy.
NSW has a strong focus on supporting Defence and developing defence exports in cooperation with the Commonwealth, as detailed in the NSW Defence and Industry Strategy ‘Strong, Smart and Connected.’
'The new Defence Export Strategy is a boost to industry and jobs,' he said.
'We have a unique opportunity here in NSW as we have some of the best when it comes to advanced manufacturing and complex weapons systems for our Defence industries and we're going to play to our strengths,' Mr Blair said.
'We know that Defence is good for NSW and NSW is good for defence industries and that is something we are seeing particularly in our regional areas where we have got businesses employing locals at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and exporting all over the world.'