The Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle - Light has received approval from the Federal Government to enter full rate production after meeting Defence’s uncompromising protection requirements through rigorous blast and ballistic testing.
With over $50 million invested in the production line and development of the vehicle, Hawkei demonstrates the deep engineering and manufacturing expertise that is crucial to Australia’s sovereign defence industry, and vital to delivering a capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Building on the lifesaving, operationally proven pedigree of the Bushmaster, Hawkei provides a protected, mobile and lethal digital node in an increasingly networked battlespace.
Manufacturing Hawkei has continued Thales Australia’s long-term relationships with its extensive domestic supply chain, building Australia’s self-reliance and the capability of the broader Australian manufacturing sector.
Analysis of Thales’s supply chain by AlphaBeta Advisers found that in 2019, Thales spent $97 million with over 200 Australian suppliers for protected vehicles (Bushmaster sustainment and Hawkei manufacture), supporting 271 direct jobs in the supply chain.
With the support of the Australian Government, Thales will pursue export opportunities for the Hawkei, building on the global success of the Bushmaster which is in service with seven countries and is combat proven by three armies on operations.
Thales welcomes the Government’s commitments in the 2020 Force Structure Plan to strengthen the Australian industrial base through increased involvement of Australian industry across a broad range of capabilities including autonomous systems. The development of these systems and platforms will deliver ongoing capability advantage to the ADF.
“I want to thank the Australian Defence Force and the Government for backing the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei. To reach this point we’ve had to come through an incredibly demanding testing process, with the added challenge this year of keeping our facilities operating through the Covid pandemic.
“Our whole organisation has been focussed on delivering Hawkei and its world leading capability to the ADF. I also want to thank all of our Australian suppliers – by backing Hawkei the ADF and the Government are backing the ability of Australian industry to design and manufacture advanced capability in Australia.”
Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive, Thales Australia