Thales Australia has unveiled the design of its groundbreaking next generation Protected Mobility Vehicle for the Australian Army — the Hawkei.
Following the tradition of the Bushmaster, which is named after a deadly pit viper, the new addition is named after a stealthy species of Death Adder — Acanthophis hawkei — which is native to Australia.
“Like its exceptionally venomous namesake, this vehicle packs a punch,” said Chris Jenkins, Managing Director of Thales Australia.
“Mobile, versatile, and above all well protected, the Hawkei will provide unparalleled situational awareness, lethality and survivability for a vehicle its size.
“It incorporates high levels of blast and ballistic protection in a light, highly manoeuvrable and readily air transportable vehicle that has been engineered for peak performance.
“Hawkei ticks all the boxes for Defence’s LAND 121 Phase 4 program to provide a light protected vehicle to replace the Army Landrover fleet.”
The Hawkei has been developed by Thales in Bendigo, Victoria — home of the Bushmaster. Drawing on both international and local expertise provided by Plasan, Boeing, PAC Group and numerous Australian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), the vehicle’s design incorporates world-leading innovative technologies.
Jenkins said the Hawkei launch represented an exciting chapter in Australia’s local defence capability.
“The Hawkei offers the ADF an Australian solution specifically tailored to unique Australian needs, but one that also meets the operational priorities of other nations such as the United Kingdom LPPV program, the Netherlands vehicle replacement program, and also the requirements of the US Marines.
“Following our extensive work on the Bushmaster, our team in Bendigo, coupled with our local and international partners, has the experience, the skills and the in-depth knowledge to meet ADF requirements now and well into the future.
“Hawkei is a next generation solution underpinned by battle proven experience from Bushmaster. We are confident the Hawkei will establish the new benchmark in Light Protected Vehicles, rendering obsolete the technology used in the competing vehicles.
“Our team possesses a unique in-country capability, with the capacity to manufacture and deliver the vehicle to the customer’s requirements,” Jenkins said.