Australia's Hawkei lightweight protected vehicle achieves initial operational capability

Isa Khan

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The Australian-designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) under the Project Land 121 Phase 4, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 11 July.

“Defence and Thales Australia have resolved a braking issue identified in late 2020, with a technical solution 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,” said the DoD.

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the AUD2 billion (USD1.49 billion) project will see the new fleet of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles – and 1,058 companion trailers – rolled out to Australian army and air force units, adding that this capability will provide “a high level of protection for soldiers” from blast and ballistic threats, with significantly improved mobility enabling it to operate in high threat environments”.

The minister noted that the 4×4, 7-tonne Hawkei, which is expected to reach full operational capability (FOC) in 2023, is joining the Bushmaster and protected medium heavy capability trucks to create a “suite of protected mobility vehicles”.

The Hawkei vehicles, which are to replace the majority of the Australian Army's blast-protected Land Rover fleet in command, liaison, utility, and reconnaissance roles, are being manufactured in Victoria at the Thales Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo.

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