SYDNEY, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- French defense industry giant Thales announced the official launch of its munitions business in Australia and a joint venture in India for radar systems.
Australian Munitions, a venture of the company's subsidiary Thales Australia, will provide a wide range of munitions to the Australian military and, through local production, offer it with greater cost effectiveness.
Thales already has a strong portfolio, which includes Thales Advanced Weapon Systems, Thales Missile Electronics, Junghans Microtec, TDA Armements and Forges de Zeebrugge, in explosive ordnance. Strategic partners include U.S. company General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Norway's Nammo and Winchester Australia.
"This team represents world-class organizations committed to delivering international quality locally, adding significant depth to Australia's domestic munitions production capacity," Thales said.
"Australian Munitions brings a broad product portfolio encompassing the majority of the Australian Defense Force's non-guided munitions product requirements from small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition through to bombs, demolition stores and pyrotechnics."
Australian Munitions will have its manufacturing sites at Benalla in the state of Victoria and Mulwala in New South Wales. It will be led by Thales Australia Armaments Vice President Kevin Wall.
"With this business we are building the future of explosive ordnance manufacturing in this country," said Thales Australia Chief Executive Officer Chris Jenkins. "As a team we are dedicated to ensuring the Australian Defense Force has the best munitions the world has to offer, especially when it comes to U.S. and NATO interoperability.
"Our partners give us significant global reach when it comes to accessing the widest range of technologies and the market scale to ensure value for money for taxpayers."
In regard to India, Thales said formation of a joint venture company has been approved by its board of directors and that of Bharat Electronics Limited, a public sector company.
The JVC will focus on the design, development, marketing, supply and support of civilian and select defense radars for Indian and international markets.
In compliance with Indian government regulations for the defense sector, Thales will hold a 26 percent equity stake in the joint venture. That is the maximum amount allowed. Bharat Electronics will hold remainder.
Bharat Electronics Limited Bharat Electronics Limited is a state-owned electronics concern and a supplier to India's military. It has the government's "Navratna" status, which means it is given greater autonomy to compete in the global market place.
Thales said the decision to form the joint venture company is the result of a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations in 2009. Formation of the new company is subject to regulatory approval by Indian authorities.
Thales, active in the defense, security, aerospace and transport markets has operations in 56 countries.