Newest Hawkei Prototype Delivered
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued December 13, 2012)
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today congratulated Thales Australia on the delivery of the latest Hawkei vehicle and trailer prototypes.

This prototype is the first to be delivered under Stage 2 of Project LAND 121 Phase 4.

Made by Thales Australia, the Hawkei was selected in December 2011 as the preferred vehicle for development and testing under the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option of Project LAND 121 Phase 4.

Mr Clare said the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle combines speed with safety for Australian soldiers on the battlefield.

“This year the Government allocated $38 million for further development and testing of the Hawkei,” Mr Clare said.

“Under this agreement Thales will supply six prototype Hawkei vehicles and one trailer for testing and evaluation.”

The delivery of the Hawkei prototype vehicle and trailer is an important milestone for Project LAND 121 Phase 4.

“The Hawkei was manufactured at Thales’s Bendigo facility, which has been producing Bushmasters since 2003,” Mr Clare said.

“The team of 50 working on the Hawkei are part of a team of 210 here at Bendigo. They do a very important job. The work done here in Bendigo is saving lives in Afghanistan.”

The remaining five Hawkei vehicle prototypes are expected to be delivered by June 2013.

Over the next year these vehicles will undergo an extensive testing program, including communication system integration testing, reliability growth trials, survivability testing and user assessments.

Project LAND 121 Phase 4 is a $1.5 billion project that seeks to provide up to 1,300 protected and unprotected light vehicles.




New Special Operations Vehicle Prototype Delivered
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued December 13, 2012)
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today congratulated Supacat on the delivery of the prototype for a new Special Operations Vehicle. Mr Clare also officially opened Supacat’s new facility in Melbourne.

Supacat was selected earlier this year to develop a prototype vehicle for the Special Operations Vehicle – Direct Action (SOV-DA) requirement under Project JP2097 Phase 1B. The prototype will be used to inform capability options for Second Pass project approval by the Government.

The SOV-DA will contribute to the overall land mobility capability for Special Forces. It can carry a range of weapons systems, communications and surveillance equipment.

Supacat has previously supplied a number of Special Operations Vehicles – Special Reconnaissance (SOV-SR) to Special Operations Command (SOCOMD).

These vehicles are named the ‘Nary’, in honour of Warrant Officer Class Two David Nary, an Australian Special Forces soldier who died during a training operation in the Middle East in 2005.

The SOV-DA will provide a different capability effect for SOCOMD, to that provided by the SOV-SR. It has a range of unique features including improved rollover protection, a remote weapon station, an ability to carry a Javelin Anti-Tank missile system, improved self-recovery capability and it can be carried underslung by a CH-47 Chinook.

“Supacat’s vehicles are used by the Australian Army and other land forces around the world,” Mr Clare said.

“Australia will be the first country outside the United Kingdom where Supacat provides complete in-country support. Its establishment here in Melbourne shows the strength of our local industry.

“The Supacat facility employs 18 staff, whose jobs range from design, analysis and systems engineers as well as project management and support personnel, for the existing fleet and prototype evaluation for these important vehicles.”

To deliver the Special Operations Vehicle, Supacat formed “Supacat Team Australia”, which is a partnership involving 15 Australian companies, including Broens, Marand, Haulmark and Tectonica.

Supacat vehicles are also used by United Kingdom, United States and Danish Special Forces, as well as the UK Army.

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