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Australian Government invests $220 million in local munitions manufacturing for Defence

The Australian Department of Defence is investing $220 million in munitions production at factories in Mulwala in New South Wales and Benalla in Victoria.

“Improving Australia’s ability to manufacture the munitions our defence force needs is not only critical to meeting the strategic challenges we face as a nation, it will also support local industry and well-paid, skilled local jobs,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy.

“The … investment in these cutting-edge technologies demonstrates we are delivering on the Defence Strategic Review’s recommendations to develop advanced munitions manufacturing in Australia.”

The investment will significantly boost industrial capacity through:

  • infrastructure redevelopments at each site – ensuring they are equipped to support future production demands, such as 155mm artillery ammunition,
  • new explosive mixers at Mulwala
  • enhanced munition manufacturing procedures, including non-destructive testing

Developed by Defence, the new Resonant Acoustic Mixing technology in place at Mulwala will produce a broader range of advanced munitions, faster and more safely.

This will increase the capacity for production of the BLU-111(AUS) aerial bomb, also called the GBU-12 Paveway II 500lb bomb, used by the Royal Australian Air Force.

“The ability to bring the BLU-111(AUS) into operational service as an Australian-manufactured munition is a significant milestone in boosting Australia’s defence industry manufacturing capability,” added Conroy.

“Our investment in these capabilities will accelerate the domestic manufacture of Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance, such as 155mm artillery ammunition. The Mulwala and Benalla munition factories underpin Australia’s ability to develop critical propellants, explosives and munitions for the Australian Defence Force.”

This is a step towards the establishment in Australia of a sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise capable of manufacturing guided and unguided missiles and munitions.

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