Australia — Green light for Hawkei

Thales Australia’s inno­v­a­tive Hawkei light pro­tect­ed vehi­cle has won Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for fur­ther devel­op­ment.

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Hawkei light pro­tect­ed vehi­cle
Source: Thales

Thales Aus­tralia CEO Chris Jenk­ins today wel­comed the announce­ment by the Min­is­ter for Defence, Stephen Smith, that Hawkei had been downs­e­lect­ed under the LAND 121 Phase 4 pro­gram.

This is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment for our engi­neer­ing and pro­duc­tion team, our part­ners and the 120 Aus­tralian firms that are part of our man­u­fac­tur­ing sup­ply chain.

Up against the best vehi­cles in its class from US and Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers, the Thales Hawkei has come out on top, which is a great vote of con­fi­dence in the skills of Aus­tralian defence indus­try.

The Hawkei pro­to­types were devel­oped in only 18 months and have com­plet­ed more than 40,000km in vehi­cle test­ing. They have been sub­ject­ed to more than 10 blast tests to prove the pro­tec­tion lev­els of the crew com­part­ment.

Sub­ject to fur­ther dis­cus­sions with the Com­mon­wealth, the devel­op­ment con­tract
announced today will enable us to take the pro­to­type through to a pro­duc­tion-ready vehi­cle that ful­ly meets the spec­i­fi­ca­tions set by the Aus­tralian Army.

It is a tru­ly inno­v­a­tive, high­ly mobile, high­ly pro­tect­ed, 7-tonne vehi­cle, with in-built vehi­cle sys­tems to make it a real fight­ing plat­form for Aus­tralian troops. The Hawkei has been devel­oped with Vehi­cle Elec­tron­ic Archi­tec­ture to be mis­sion sys­tem ready.

We will work close­ly with Defence through the fur­ther devel­op­ment of the Hawkei to ensure it meets their needs. Our inter­na­tion­al and local part­ners includ­ing Plasan, Boe­ing, PAC Group and many Aus­tralian SMEs will be vital to this project.

Today’s deci­sion also makes it pos­si­ble for Thales to pur­sue export oppor­tu­ni­ties for the Hawkei. We have already achieved more than $100m in Bush­mas­ter export sales, and the new Hawkei vehi­cle has great export poten­tial, with a design that meets the needs of a wide range of mil­i­tary forces.”

Mr Jenk­ins also wel­comed the Min­is­ter for Defence’s com­mit­ment to the Bendi­go pro­tect­ed vehi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing capa­bil­i­ty and the skills of its work­force as “an impor­tant nation­al secu­ri­ty capa­bil­i­ty”.

About Thales
Thales is a glob­al tech­nol­o­gy leader for the Defence & Secu­ri­ty and the Aero­space & Trans­port mar­kets. In 2010, the com­pa­ny gen­er­at­ed rev­enues of €13.1 bil­lion (equiv­a­lent of AUD 18.9 bil­lion) with 68,000 employ­ees in 50 coun­tries. With its 22,500 engi­neers and researchers, Thales has a unique capa­bil­i­ty to design, devel­op and deploy equip­ment, sys­tems and ser­vices that meet the most com­plex secu­ri­ty require­ments. Thales has an excep­tion­al inter­na­tion­al foot­print, with oper­a­tions around the world work­ing with cus­tomers as local part­ners.

Thales Aus­tralia is a trust­ed part­ner of the Aus­tralian Defence Force and is also present in com­mer­cial sec­tors rang­ing from air traf­fic man­age­ment to secu­ri­ty sys­tems and ser­vices. Employ­ing around 3,300 peo­ple in over 35 sites across the coun­try, Thales Aus­tralia record­ed rev­enues of around AUD 900 mil­lion in 2010.