Thales Australia has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Nordic arms company Nammo to cooperate on the development of next-generation aircraft ammunition.

The partnership is based on Norway and Australia’s involvement in the F-35 fighter programme, and the need to develop a new lethal ammunition against soft and hard targets.

The LoI will include cooperation on the Norwegian APEX ammunition concept and a special training round, and the Thales APFI frangible ammunition round.

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Nammo are fully funding the APEX development and qualification programme.

Nammo’s medium and large-caliber division executive vice-president Kjell Kringsja said the APEX concept would give the air forces superior performance in air combat and close air support roles.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the cooperation would pave the way for industrial participation related to the F-35 programme and entry into the field of aircraft ammunition.