The Hawkei is set to become the latest addition to the Australian Defence Force fleet following the signing of a $1.3 billion contract with the Commonwealth.
Soldiers on operations will benefit from increased protection and mobility in a powerful 4×4 vehicle, which can be adapted for different missions.
Hawkei follows the life-saving success of the larger Bushmaster vehicle, which has protected Australian and other troops in some of the most challenging combat environments on earth.
The Hawkei contract also reflects the unique Australian expertise at Thales’s protected vehicles manufacturing facility in Bendigo, as well as its support centres in Brisbane and Townsville.
Chris Jenkins, CEO of Thales in Australia said: “This is a great day for the ADF and for Australian industry. Hawkei is a highly capable vehicle that will serve this country well for many years to come, and we are delighted that the Department of Defence has recognised the importance of this vehicle by reaching this milestone.
“We are proud to have been chosen to deliver this next generation of protected vehicles to our armed forces, and we stand by them ready to support and adapt it as their requirements evolve.
“We also thank our many suppliers on the program – companies in Australia and overseas that have been with us on this long journey, and who have played a significant role in shaping the Hawkei and contributing to its success. It’s a great story about what Australian industry and international partnerships can achieve.
“As we move into the manufacturing phase, we will now be able to consolidate the work already begun across the Thales group worldwide to ensure the export success of this impressive vehicle.”
The contract involves the delivery of 1,100 vehicles and over 1,000 trailers. The three and a half year production phase is scheduled to begin from mid-2017, with first deliveries expected towards the end of that year.
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 61,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €13 billion in 2014. With over 20,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its unique international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.
Thales in Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Employing around 3,200 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales in Australia recorded revenues of AUD 1 billion in 2014.