The Australian Government will purchase 1100 locally built Hawkei protected vehicles and over 1000 trailers to strengthen our defence force.
Under a $1.3 billion agreement, the vehicles will be manufactured at Thales Australia’s production line in Bendigo, creating 170 jobs there and another 60 jobs in Victoria.
The Hawkei will improve protection for soldiers and enable them to operate in high-risk areas. It is the only protected mobility vehicle in the ADF that can be transported by ADF helicopters.
The vehicles will also pioneer a next generation communications management system to be developed in Australia by Thales.
The Government will invest in the skills and knowledge base of the Defence industry. This long-term investment helps secure this important industry’s future in Australia.
The Government is committed to working closely with Australian industry to bring about a safer and more secure Australia.
The Project LAND 121 Phase 4 contract to deliver the vehicles was signed today at Defence’s Monegeetta Proving Ground near Melbourne.
Since 2004, the Thales assembly line has been producing the highly successful Bushmaster, widely recognised as one of the finest vehicles of its type in the world.
As Bushmaster production winds down, the start of pilot vehicle production in early 2016 will secure the highly skilled Bendigo workforce for full-rate production of the Hawkei in 2018.