Hawkei protected mobility vehicle (photo : Aus DoD)
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today congratulated Thales Australia on the delivery of the latest Hawkei vehicle and trailer prototypes.
This prototype is the first to be delivered under Stage 2 of Project LAND 121 Phase 4.
Made by Thales Australia, the Hawkei was selected in December 2011 as the preferred vehicle for development and testing under the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option of Project LAND 121 Phase 4.
Mr Clare said the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle combines speed with safety for Australian soldiers on the battlefield.
“This year the Government allocated $38 million for further development and testing of the Hawkei,” Mr Clare said.
“Under this agreement Thales will supply six prototype Hawkei vehicles and one trailer for testing and evaluation.”
The delivery of the Hawkei prototype vehicle and trailer is an important milestone for Project LAND 121 Phase 4.
“The Hawkei was manufactured at Thales’s Bendigo facility, which has been producing Bushmasters since 2003,” Mr Clare said.
“The team of 50 working on the Hawkei are part of a team of 210 here at Bendigo. They do a very important job. The work done here in Bendigo is saving lives in Afghanistan.”
The remaining five Hawkei vehicle prototypes are expected to be delivered by June 2013.
Over the next year these vehicles will undergo an extensive testing program, including communication system integration testing, reliability growth trials, survivability testing and user assessments.
Project LAND 121 Phase 4 is a $1.5 billion project that seeks to provide up to 1,300 protected and unprotected light vehicles.