Thales Australia welcomes the Government’s announcement that the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle–Light is set to enter full-rate production after meeting Defence’s uncompromising protection requirements through rigorous blast and ballistic testing. Hawkei builds on the operationally proven life-saving pedigree of the Bushmaster. Hawkei manufacture supports 210 jobs at Thales’s Bendigo site, including engineers, vehicle assemblers, fabricators, electricians and painters as well as around 180 jobs along the vehicle’s extensive Australian supply chain. The Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light has received approval from the Federal Government to enter full rate production after meeting Defence’s uncompromising protection requirements through rigorous blast and ballistic testing.
Building on the lifesaving, operationally proven pedigree of the Bushmaster, Hawkei provides a protected, mobile and lethal digital node in an increasingly networked battlespace. With over $50 million invested in the production line and development of the vehicle, Hawkei demonstrates the deep engineering and manufacturing expertise that is crucial to Australia’s sovereign defence industry, and vital to delivering a capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Analysis of Thales’s supply chain by AlphaBeta Advisers found that in 2019, Thales spent $97 million with over 200 Australian suppliers for protected vehicles (Bushmaster sustainment and Hawkei manufacture), supporting 271 direct jobs in the supply chain.
“I want to thank the Australian Defence Force and the Government for backing the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei. To reach this point we’ve had to come through an incredibly demanding testing process, with the added challenge this year of keeping our facilities operating through the Covid pandemic.
“Our whole organisation has been focussed on delivering Hawkei and its world leading capability to the ADF. I also want to thank all of our Australian suppliers – by backing Hawkei the ADF and the Government are backing the ability of Australian industry to design and manufacture advanced capability in Australia,” said Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive, Thales Australia.
Thales welcomes the Government’s commitments in the 2020 Force Structure Plan to strengthen the Australian industrial base through increased involvement of Australian industry across a broad range of capabilities including autonomous systems. With the support of the Australian Government, Thales will pursue export opportunities for the Hawkei, building on the global success of the Bushmaster which is in service with seven countries and is combat proven by three armies on operations. Thales in Australia is a trusted long-term partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Employing around 3,900 people, Thales in Australia recorded revenues of more than A$1.39 billion in 2019 and export revenue of over A$1.6 billion in the past 10 years.
WATCH || @AustralianArmy’s new 🇦🇺 designed Hawkei protected vehicle is ready to enter full-rate production at the @ThalesAustralia Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo, Victoria. The production will sustain over 300 jobs nationwide.
— Department of Defence (@DeptDefence) September 3, 2020