Thales Australia submitted its production bid to the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) in September 2014 for the production phase of the Hawkei (4x4) protected mobility vehicle.
Hawkei has been developed to meet the Australian Army Land 121 Phase 4 requirement and it is expected that at least 1,000 will be ordered to replace currently deployed unprotected vehicles.
During trials with prototype Hawkei vehicles, well over 200,000km were clocked up over a variety of terrain conditions. In addition, there were extensive blast trials to prove the level of ballistic and mine protection for Hawkei.
Two baseline versions of the Hawkei will be produced for the Australian Army, with the same wheelbase and diesel powerpack. The four-door configuration can seat up to six people, while the two-door configuration can seat up to three people.
All of the Australian Army Hawkeis are in right-hand drive configuration, but the company has a left-hand drive demonstrator being shown at DSEI, which has recently been demonstrated in Poland.
Hawkei has an air-conditioned, well-protected central crew citadel with spall liners and an appliqué passive armour package that is claimed to provide a high level of ballistic, mine and improvised explosive device protection.
Standard equipment includes a central tyre inflation system and a vehicle electronic architecture, with purpose-designed areas able to accommodate radios, computers and other electronic equipment.
The Thales Bushmaster (4x4) protected mobility vehicle remains in production for the Australian Army, which has already taken delivery of more than 1,000 vehicles. Export contracts have also been placed by Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK, and the vehicle has seen extensive operational service.
The Bushmaster being shown at DSEI is fitted with cameras for all-round situational awareness and a Kongsberg remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a .50 machine gun and a Thales Lightweight Multiple Launcher.
Thales Australia is developing a more basic version of the Bushmaster to meet additional export customers’ requirements.
Ian Gethin, director marketing and sales operations, confirmed to the DSEI Daily that ‘‘we will bid both the Bushmaster and Hawkei to meet the future British Army Multi-Role Vehicle − Protected requirement’’.