Thales2011-12-13 07:40:05

Thales's Hawkei vehicles selected by the Australian MoD

Australia's Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced Monday that the Thales Australia Hawkei is Australia's preferred choice for a new Light Protected Vehicle. Hawkei prototypes have successfully demonstrated the vehicle's innovative design, protection and systems architecture. The prototype has also been displayed in Europe as the centrepiece of the Thales stand at Eurosatory in 2010.

The Australian Government contract will fund the further development of the vehicle meeting specifications set by the Australian Army under the Land 121 Phase 4 programme. The Australian Defence Force is seeking to acquire up to 1300 light protected vehicles to replace unprotected Landrovers.

Thales Australia has developed the vehicle in partnership with Plasan, Boeing, PAC Group and a large number of Australian suppliers. It is a highly mobile, highly protected, 7 tonne vehicle, with in-built Vehicle Electronic Architecture to be mission system ready. The modular design meets the needs of a wide range of military forces.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the company would be pursuing export sales of the Hawkei. "Up against the best vehicles in its class from leading US and European military vehicle manufacturers, the Thales Hawkei has come out on top" says Chris, Thales Australia CEO. "We have already achieved more than $100m in Bushmaster export sales and the new Hawkei vehicle has great export potential. The Hawkei prototypes were developed in only 18 months and have completed more than 40,000 km in vehicle testing. They have been subjected to more than 10 blast tests to prove the protection levels of the crew compartment. The Australian Government also declared the Bendigo manufacturing facility, home of the Bushmaster, "an important national security capability."

Bushmaster has delivered outstanding performance under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable on current operations in Afghanistan where it is in service with Australian forces and two NATO countries.

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