Defence and Thales Australia have resolved a braking issue identified with the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle identified in late 2020, allowing the approval of Initial Operational Capability.
Defence minister Peter Dutton said in a statement that the vehicle had reached a significant milestone with a technical solution to the issue 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.”
Manufactured in Bendigo, Hawkei provides a high level of protection for soldiers, with significantly improved mobility enabling it to operate in high threat environments.
Dutton said the $2 billion project would see the new fleet of 1,100 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.
“The new fleet of lighter vehicles, which will come with 1,058 trailers, will better protect ADF personnel from blast and ballistic threats.”
Defence industry minister Melissa Price said the production of the Hawkei created significant long-term opportunities for Australian industry, including the potential for export.
Picture: Thales/Hawkei production Bendigo
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