Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds announced last week that the Australian-designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light has received approval to enter full-rate production. The minister said that the 4×4 vehicle had performed exceptionally well throughout comprehensive ballistic and blast testing, meeting the Department of Defence’s stringent requirements for protection. Full-rate production, involving about 50 vehicles a month, is expected to commence in mid-2021.
“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 organization has been focused on delivering Hawkei and its world leading capability to the ADF", said Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of Thales Australia.
The Janes website notes that in October 2015 Thales Australia was awarded a USD947 million contract to supply 1,100 of the 7-ton vehicles, along with 1,058 companion trailers, to replace the majority of the Australian Army’s blast-protected Land Rover fleet in command, liaison, utility, and reconnaissance roles.
Hawkei’s scalable protection fit-out features the Super Multi-hit Armor Technology (SMART) developed by Israeli company Plasan.