Hawkei PMV armor vehicle to enter full-rate production

An Australian Army Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle with a mock-up of a CEA Technologies Tactical Radar and an Electro-Optic Systems RS400 Mk2 Remote Weapon System on display at Russell Offices, Canberra for the full-rate production announcement. *** Local Caption *** Army’s new Australian-designed Hawkei protected vehicle is ready to enter full-rate production at the Thales Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo, Victoria. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC said the vehicle had performed exceptionally well throughout comprehensive ballistic and blast testing, meeting Defence’s stringent requirements for protection. The Hawkei is a significant enhancement to the existing land capability which will provide superior mobility, survivability and communications while protecting the lives of our soldiers when operating in increasingly lethal and complex environments. 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and 1,058 associated trailers will be delivered, with the full rate production vehicles expected to commence delivery in mid-2021. Approximately 50 vehicles per month will be manufactured out of the Thales Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo until mid-2022. The Hawkei’s production will sustain around 210 jobs in Thales’ workforce in Bendigo, and around 180 additional jobs nation-wide as part of Thales's supply chain.

Following nearly a decade of testing and development, Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have announced that the Thales Hawkei protected mobility vehicle (PMV) has been approved to enter into full-rate production (FRP).

It has been developed in Australia for Australian conditions, and to carry an EOS remote weapons station (RWS), a CEA CEATAC radar for the Project LAND 19 Phased 7B short-range ground-based air-defence systems (SRGBAD), to tow all-terrain trailers, and to carry and various palletised and podded cargo modules.

Designed to offer protection for its crew from small to medium calibre arms fire and improvised explosive devices, the Hawkei successfully completed an operational trial deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2018.

A Hawkei PMV with an EOS R400 RWS. (ADF)

A ministerial statement says the vehicle has performed “exceptionally well throughout comprehensive ballistic and blast testing, meeting Defence’s stringent requirements for protection.”

“This is a highly effective capability being delivered in partnership between Defence and industry that builds on Thales’s iconic Bushmaster, which has been highly successful on operations overseas and exported around the world,” Minister Reynolds said in the statement.

“The Hawkei is a significant enhancement to existing land capability that will provide superior mobility, survivability and communications, while protecting the lives of our soldiers when operating in increasingly lethal and complex environments.”

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Minister Price added, “The manufacture and ongoing support of the Hawkei vehicle creates significant long-term opportunities for Australian industry, including potential export opportunities, as we have seen with the Bushmaster vehicles. “This Government is investing in the skills and knowledge base of Australia’s defence industry and delivering an internationally competitive and sustainable sovereign Defence industry.”

Hawkei PMVs on Thales’ production line at Bendigo in Victoria. (ADF)

The Hawkei is being acquired under Project LAND 121 Phase 4, for which 1,100 vehicles and 1,058 trailers built by Queensland-based Haulmark Trailers are required.

Full-rate production will see the PMVs built at a rate of 50 per month. To date, about 200 test and low-rate production Hawkeis have been delivered.

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