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IAV 2024: Thales UK pitches Bushmaster and Hawkei for British Army's Land Mobility Programme

The Hawkei (seen here in a four-door configuration) is one of the platforms from the Thales Australia portfolio that will be offered for the Light Protected Mobility aspect of the LMP. (Thales)

Thales intends to offer its Bushmaster and Hawkei wheeled protected patrol vehicles for elements of the British Army's Land Mobility Programme (LMP), Janes learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicle (IAV) 2024 conference held in London from 22 to 25 January.

The heavier Bushmaster will be pitched for the Medium Protected Mobility segment of the programme, while the lighter Hawkei will be aimed at the programme's Light Protected Mobility aspect.

In order to conform to the British Army's Land Industrial Strategy and meet a requirement for LMP platforms to have a 60% UK workshare, Thales plans to partner with other companies to enable manufacturing of the vehicles to take place in the UK.

Since the British Army's existing platforms that fulfil the Medium Protected Mobility role are the closest to nearing their out-of-service date, Jonathan Welch, capture leader at Thales, told Janes on 23 January that Thales envisions proposing to manufacture an initial batch of approximately 250 Bushmasters for the Medium Protected Mobility requirement at its Thales Australia facility in Bendigo, with final integration activity carried out in the UK. This would provide time to establish a production line in the UK for the remaining Bushmasters.

This approach would not be necessary for the Hawkei Light Protected Mobility bid, as the existing platforms for this role have a more distant out-of-service date and the Hawkei is purpose-designed for local assembly. Thales could therefore work with its partners to establish UK production for the entire programme without manufacturing an initial batch in Australia.

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