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Thales delivers two prototypes of Hawkei PMV to Australia

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The Hawkei PMV-L. A Thales photo

SYDNEY (BNS): The Australian subsidiary of Thales Group has delivered two prototypes of the next generation Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle to Australia.

The new lightweight mobility vehicles, being designed and developed for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), have been delivered for verification and validation under the Australian Defence Department’s LAND 121 Phase 4 programme.

Under the programme, the Australian Army seeks to replace its fleet of Land Rovers with the new-generation vehicles.

Thales Australia is vying for a contract worth $1.3 billion to deliver around 1,300 such vehicles to the Army. The other contenders for the deal include Force Protection Europe and General Dynamics Land Systems Australia.

Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, said the delivery marked a significant chapter in a rapid development programme that had made full use of the company’s protected mobility expertise.

“The Hawkei is an impressive vehicle that has been developed to meet the specific operational requirements of the Australian Defence Force,” he said.

The 4x4, 7-tonne Hawkei has been designed to carry six soldiers. It incorporates high levels of blast and ballistic protection.

Thales Australia had officially unveiled the new light mobility vehicle in September 2009 after the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) issued an RFP in this regard in June that year.

According to the Australian Ministry of Defence, the new vehicles will provide better safety to troops deployed overseas through improved ballistic and blast protection, compared to lightweight vehicles currently in use.

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