SA joint venture armed for success

A new South Australian joint venture will help strengthen Australia’s frontline defence capabilities by developing innovative small-arms and light weapons.

Force Ordnance, a division of the Lightforce Australia group of companies, recently teamed up with US-based military weapons manufacturer Lewis Machine & Tool and other key Australian original equipment manufacturers already providing to global military, to design and manufacture high-precision small-arms for the Australian Defence Force, and Australian federal and state police and emergency services.

Cutting-edge Defence technology will be designed, engineered and manufactured at the new group’s innovation hub in South Australia, creating jobs and generating future export opportunities.

The joint venture, officially launched at Land Forces 2018 on the South Australia – Defence State stand, will focus on manufacturing products for law enforcement and military, including platforms that will compete for an Australian Department of Defence contract, Land 159 Phase 1, to replace the current ADF fleet of small arms with improved target acquisition and lethality.   

Monika Leniger-Sherratt, CEO of the Lightforce Australia Group of Companies, said the new division will provide responsive through-life support, build domestic engineering skills and places Australian-made products in a strategically important global supply chain.

“These new partnerships represent a game-changer for the efficiency, reliability and effectiveness of the Australian small-arms market,” she said.

“Force Ordnance is at the forefront of advances in military engineering, manufacturing and material development and serves to reinforce Australian sovereign capability and national security.”

In addition to focusing on the small arms market, Force Ordnance has also partnered with Australian company TAUV Intelligent Armour Systems in bringing in advanced technology to Defence. The technology will complement the Force Ordnance range to ensure a full systems approach in the developmental phases.

“As a former Special Forces Medic, I have combined first-hand military experience with a passion for new technology to bring about new technology to ballistic protection and UAC systems,” Nathan Kalisch, founder of TAUV, said.

“Together, with a combined focus we will provide the very best combat solutions to ensure our soldiers have the best capabilities and protection.”   

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price said the establishment of Force Ordnance strengthens South Australia’s strong reputation as a hub for defence industry excellence and an ideal environment to develop new technologies and capabilities for Defence.

“The Lightforce Australia Group of Companies has a track record of excellence in engineering and high-quality innovation, and their decision to expand into South Australia demonstrates confidence in our state’s defence industry.”

Lightforce Australia Group of Companies includes Lightforce Australia, Nightforce Optics, EuroOptic Australia and Horus Vision Reticle Systems. 

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