FIRST ON 7: The new weapon Australian soldiers will carry into battle is made in a factory 150km west of Sydney – the same one that has made Australia's weapons for 100 years.
The Austeyr that served Diggers in Afghanistan is being retired; to be replaced by the Aussie designed F90.
- Russia accused of war crimes for dropping white phosphorus on civilian targets
- Turkey PM urges Russia to give up 'baseless' claims on IS trade
The rifle will be produced at the Thales Lithgow Small Arms Factory where defence force rifles have been produced for almost every military engagement since World War I.
The F90 is lighter and more user-friendly than its predecessor.
It's also the work of some dedicated locals who have embraced Australia's small arms manufacturing like a family tradition.
"I started in 1983, my brother grandfather, my father, his brother, and then my wife started about 10 years ago," Thales worker Wayne Gurney told 7 News.
Defence has placed an order of $100 million for 30,000 rifles and 2500 grenade launchers from the Thales factory, carrying on a long and healthy relationship.
"It is Australian and it goes back to our Anzacs," said Mr Gurney about the factory that employed more than 6,000 people at its peak.
"It comes down to us that the product we make works every time, to keep those guys safe and there's a little bit of us in each one of those weapons."
Anyone interested in learning more about Thales' long history and other smaller weapons should visit the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum located in a former Thales factory building in Lithgow.