Joint Media Release
The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for Defence Industry
The next generation of Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light has reached a significant milestone with the approval of Initial Operational Capability under the Project Land 121 Phase 4.
This brand new capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will provide a high level of protection for soldiers, with significantly improved mobility enabling it to operate in high threat environments.
Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP said the $2 billion project would see the new fleet of 1,100 Australian-built light protected vehicles rolled out to Army and Air Force units.
“The Hawkei is expected to reach Full Operational Capability in 2023 and is joining the existing Bushmaster and Protected Medium Heavy Capability trucks to create a suite of protected mobility vehicles,” Minister Dutton said.
“The new fleet of lighter vehicles, which will come with 1,058 trailers, will better protect ADF personnel from blast and ballistic threats.”
Minister for Defence Industry the Hon Melissa Price said the Hawkei project is delivering vehicles manufactured in Victoria at the Thales Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo.
“This project is an excellent example of Australian industry providing Defence capability to meet Australian requirements,” Minister Price said.
“Hawkei has been designed and built in Australia by Thales Australia, which supports Australian jobs and Australian service personnel.
“The production of the Hawkei is sustaining approximately 210 jobs in Thales’ workforce in Bendigo, creating about 35 more jobs as part of the support contract, and establishing around 180 additional jobs as part of Thales’ supply chain supporting production.
“The production and ongoing support of the Hawkei vehicle in Australia creates significant long-term opportunities for Australian industry, including the potential for export,” Minister Price said.
Defence and Thales Australia have resolved a braking issue identified in late 2020, with a technical solution being rolled out across the Hawkei fleet.
With appropriate controls in place, Defence has lifted the Hawkei’s operating restrictions, enabling the recommencement of full-rate production and rollout of the capability.