1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) acquired the Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) Hawkei. 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) is a regular motorised infantry battalion of the Australian Army. 1 RAR is a regular motorised infantry battalion of the Australian Army. In 2017 the battalion commenced the transition to the motorised role with the adoption of the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle. The battalion is currently based at Townsville, Queensland, where it forms part of the Australian Army 3rd Brigade.
The Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) is a light Four-wheel drive protected mobility vehicle originally designed to meet an Australian Defence Force (ADF) requirement for a light armoured patrol vehicle to replace some of its Land Rover Perentie variants. It has been developed with Vehicle Electronic Architecture to be mission system ready. Prime contractors include: Thales Australia, Boeing Australia, Plasan (Israel) and PAC Group. In October 2015, the Australian Government announced the purchase of 1,100 Hawkeis from Thales Australia.
As part of a wider project to replace the ADF’s fleet of operational support vehicles, Project Land 121 Phase 4 – Protected Mobility Vehicle (Light) or PMV-L, is a requirement for up to 1,300 specialised light armoured vehicles replace some of the in-service Land Rovers. Key criteria for the project included: off-road mobility, integrated vehicle electronic architecture, substantial payloads, high levels of protection against land mines, improvised explosive devices and ballistic weapons while being light enough to be air transported by military helicopters.
The Hawkei 4×4 light protected vehicle can be fitted with a remote controlled weapon station. The weapon station can accommodate a various range of weapons as a 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and 12.7mm machine guns, 40mm automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles and observation pods. The Hawkei is motorized with a six-cylinder, 3.2 liter direct injection diesel engine rated at 225 kW and producing maximum torque of 680 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The layout is conventional, with the engine at the front, crew and troops compartment in the centre and large cargo area at the rear.