Thales Australia has delivered a further two Hawkei vehicles to the Defence Materiel Organisation on schedule.
The handover of the two Reconnaissance variants under Stage 2 of the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option of Land 121 Phase 4 means that all six vehicles are now with the Department of Defence for testing. All vehicle delivery milestones have been met on schedule.
The six vehicles comprise two Command variants, two Utility variants and two Reconnaissance variants, plus a trailer.
The majority of the evaluation process is being undertaken by the Commonwealth at Monegeetta in Victoria, and includes survivability testing, communications system integration testing, electro-magnetic interference/compatibility testing, reliability growth trials and user assessments.
Vehicles already delivered have so far completed almost half of the planned 100,000km of testing scheduled for the evaluation period. Subject to successful testing of the vehicles, final approval of the project is expected circa 2015, as detailed in the 2012 Defence Capability Plan.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: “We are very pleased to deliver these final two vehicles to Defence on schedule. They are backed by the expertise of our protected mobility engineering teams, and we are working closely with Defence to support the testing and evaluation process.”
“We have invested $30 million in Hawkei, and Australian industry has also put significant effort into the development of these vehicles. I’d like to thank all the companies in the supply chain who have helped us meet this important milestone.”
The Hawkei is manufactured at Thales’s Bendigo facility in Victoria. Employing 200 people, Bendigo is also home of the Bushmaster vehicle that has proven very successful on Australian Defence Force operations overseas.
LAND 121 Phase 4 is a Department of Defence project that seeks to provide up to 1,300 protected light vehicles.
Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: May 29, 2013