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Thales Australia creates munitions group

Sept. 6, 2012 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

CANBERRA, Australia, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Thales Australia has reorganized its armaments manufacturing businesses and created Australian Munitions.

The new division encompasses Thales's munitions facility at Benalla, Victoria state, and an explosives and propellants facility at Mulwala, New South Wales state as well as logistics services in Australia under the Explosive Ordnance Services Contract.

Kevin Wall, who joined Thales Australia in 2001, has been made Thales Australia Armaments vice president.

Wall remains responsible for the company's Soldier Systems business. He is also the chief executive of Thales Australia's Registered Training Organization, which trains employees and customers in core armaments skills.

Before joining Thales, Wall was an ammunition technical officer in the army.

He is a graduate of the Defense and Industry Study Course -- the Ministry of Defense's premier program to give industry leaders closer insight into government procurement and acquisition processes -- and is a member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers and the Logistics Association of Australia.

Thales's armaments sites date back more than 120 years to the Colonial Ammunition Co., registered in Victoria in 1888, a statement from Thales Australia said.

"Australian Munitions is part of Thales's global network of explosive ordnance expertise, which includes Thales Advanced Weapon Systems, Thales Missile Electronics, Junghans Microtec, TDA Armements and Forges de Zeebrugge," the statement said.

TDA Armements was formerly Thomson Brandt Armements, founded in 1994 and based in La Ferte Saint-Aubin, France with an additional office in Herstal, Belgium. TDA Armements has operated as a subsidiary of Thales since 2005.

"It also comprises a team of renowned strategic partners, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (and) Norway's Nammo and Winchester Australia."

The reorganization has been to enhance production of made-in-Australia non-guided munitions including small, medium and large caliber ammunition through to bombs, demolition stores and pyrotechnics.

Thales Australia Chief Executive Officer Chris Jenkins said the reorganization was also to ensure greater interoperability between Australian munitions and those from the United States and NATO.

"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," he said.

"Thales Australia has a long history of explosive ordnance expertise and our knowledge of the complexities of operating the Benalla and Mulwala facilities is demonstrated by our strong safety record in these challenging environments -- safety is central to everything we do and we have an ongoing program of continuous improvement in this area."

Thales Australia, which also provides services from air-traffic management to security systems and services had revenues or more than $962 million in 2011.

Last month General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems named Thales Australia as its representative for ammunition products in Australia and New Zealand.

Thales said at the time the move was to aid the transfer technology and know-how into the Australian manufacturing sector.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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