Hawkei on its Way to Full-Scale Production
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Sept 03, 2020)
After a rigorous acceptance testing program, the Australian Department of Defence has given the go-ahead to the full-scale production of Thales Australia’s Hawkei 4x4 armored vehicle. (AUS Army photo)
Army’s Hawkei vehicle was put on show at Russell Offices, Canberra, on September 2, for the announcement that it was ready to commence full-rate production at the Thales facility in Bendigo.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said the event recognised completion of the rigorous acceptance-testing program.

The Australian-designed Hawkei will complement government investment in soldier systems such as Armoured Fighting Vehicles, new watercraft and upgrades to the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle – Medium.

“Together, these capabilities ensure the ADF has a range of land forces, light to heavy, which are deployable and employable in the immediate region,” Lieutenant General Rick Burr said.

“The vehicle’s networked systems allow Army teams to connect with new technologies, each other and other components of the ADF.

“Its protection assures the resilience of the network and gives Australian soldiers confidence in demanding and dangerous environments.”

Warrant Officer – Class 1 (WO1) Mick Briggs, technical adviser – vehicle systems for the Land-121 Ph 4 PMV-L (Hawkei) project, said Diggers would like the Hawkei’s ease of operation and survivability.

The Hawkei boasts an integral computing system, comms suite and other systems, along with easy operation, good survivability and capability.

“I think diggers will like the overall package,” WO1 Briggs said.

“Once you have the training and you understand the vehicle, it’s quite easy to operate.

“Even driving around Canberra roads in the dark this morning, negotiating roundabouts, it was pretty easy.”

WO1 Briggs said diggers should have the same faith in the Hawkei that they do with the Bushmaster.

“You get that same confidence when you get into this vehicle, regarding its survivability, operability and manoeuvrability, that you would in the Bushmaster,” he said.

“It just feels the same and you get that air of confidence that it will do what it says on the box.”

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Hawkei Delivers Jobs and Capability Advantage
(Source: Thales Australia; issued Sept 03, 2020)
Thales Australia welcomes the Government’s announcement that the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle–Light is set to enter full-rate production after meeting Defence’s uncompromising protection requirements through rigorous blast and ballistic testing.

Hawkei manufacture supports 210 jobs at Thales’s Bendigo site, including engineers, vehicle assemblers, fabricators, electricians and painters as well as around 180 jobs along the vehicle’s extensive Australian supply chain.

Hawkei builds on the operationally proven life-saving pedigree of the Bushmaster.

The Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle - Light has received approval from the Federal Government to enter full rate production after meeting Defence’s uncompromising protection requirements through rigorous blast and ballistic testing.

With over $50 million invested in the production line and development of the vehicle, Hawkei demonstrates the deep engineering and manufacturing expertise that is crucial to Australia’s sovereign defence industry, and vital to delivering a capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Building on the lifesaving, operationally proven pedigree of the Bushmaster, Hawkei provides a protected, mobile and lethal digital node in an increasingly networked battlespace.

Manufacturing Hawkei has continued Thales Australia’s long-term relationships with its extensive domestic supply chain, building Australia’s self-reliance and the capability of the broader Australian manufacturing sector.

Analysis of Thales’s supply chain by AlphaBeta Advisers found that in 2019, Thales spent $97 million with over 200 Australian suppliers for protected vehicles (Bushmaster sustainment and Hawkei manufacture), supporting 271 direct jobs in the supply chain.

With the support of the Australian Government, Thales will pursue export opportunities for the Hawkei, building on the global success of the Bushmaster which is in service with seven countries and is combat proven by three armies on operations.

Thales welcomes the Government’s commitments in the 2020 Force Structure Plan to strengthen the Australian industrial base through increased involvement of Australian industry across a broad range of capabilities including autonomous systems. The development of these systems and platforms will deliver ongoing capability advantage to the ADF.

“I want to thank the Australian Defence Force and the Government for backing the Australian designed and manufactured Hawkei. To reach this point we’ve had to come through an incredibly demanding testing process, with the added challenge this year of keeping our facilities operating through the Covid pandemic.

“Our whole organisation has been focussed on delivering Hawkei and its world leading capability to the ADF. I also want to thank all of our Australian suppliers – by backing Hawkei the ADF and the Government are backing the ability of Australian industry to design and manufacture advanced capability in Australia,” said Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive, Thales Australia.


Thales in Australia is a trusted long-term partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Employing around 3,900 people, Thales in Australia recorded revenues of more than A$1.39 billion in 2019 and export revenue of over A$1.6 billion in the past 10 years.

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