Thales Australia will showcase its innovative Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle at next week’s Land Warfare Conference in Melbourne – the first time the vehicle has been on unrestricted display in Australia.
The Australian-built Hawkei is tailored to the specific requirements of the Australian Defence Force – a 7-tonne lightweight protected mobility vehicle for rapid CH-47 airmobile deployment, constructed of a modular design with scalable protection systems. Initially the Hawkei will be configured in four variants: command, reconnaissance, liaison and utility.
Enabling operational flexibility across a wide range of mission profiles, the Hawkei delivers a balanced combination of survivability with high levels of protection, mobility and payload. The vehicle features an open electronic architecture that enables customers to integrate systems from a variety of suppliers – an approach that increases adaptability and widens the options for battle management systems and other capabilities. It also features an innovative B-kit armour system that can be installed by troops on operations in less than 30 minutes, without the need for specialist tools.
Thales has demonstrated the benefits in speed of development and delivery through its approach to generating collaborative industry partnerships. The Hawkei has been developed with Plasan, a recognised leader in specialised armour solutions, while Boeing Defence Australia is providing advanced Integrated Logistics Support.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: "The Hawkei is a clear demonstration of the highly effective capabilities that can be delivered to Australian troops by Australian industry. It’s a testament to the benefits of having a deep industrial base that can develop, design, manufacture and support local platforms for local needs.
"The work carried out at our Bendigo facility in Victoria supports hundreds of jobs. The Bushmaster supply chain comprises approximately 120 Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with around 60% in Victoria. With this solid base, the Hawkei clearly demonstrates that Australian industry is well-placed to meet the current and future needs of the ADF. Beyond this, the Hawkei offers great potential for future exports from the Australian defence industry.
"We welcome the support many different organisations have given this vehicle, from the Department of Defence and the Victorian state government to the industry associations and the industrial base itself. We are continuing to develop the Hawkei, and will next deliver more capable versions to the Defence Materiel Organisation later this year and into 2013."
Thales Australia is currently under contract with the Department of Defence to deliver six Hawkeis under the LAND 121 Phase 4 program, which will ultimately acquire 1,300 new light protected vehicles to replace selected elements of the Land Rover fleet.
Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Oct 24, 2012