Hawkei enters Army service
The Australian Army’s new Hawkei protected mobility vehicle (PMV) is now becoming a familiar sight around the country, as low rate initial production of vehicles builds pace at Thales Australia’s manufacturing facility at Bendigo in regional Victoria. The Hawkei is designed and built in Australia and represents a new capability for Army, providing similar protection levels to those offered by the highly successful Bushmaster PMV, but at around half the weight of the larger vehicle.
Acquired under Project Land 121 Phase 4 (Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light), the Hawkei is already proving popular with Army units involved in the testing phase of the programme, including those deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO). Indeed, one of the strongest supporters of the new capability is none other than former Chief of Army, and now Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell who arranged for one Hawkei to be marked with ‘Army 1’ number plates, which was a common sight around Army Headquarters in Canberra.
Eventually, 1100 Hawkeis, together with 1058 trailers will replace around one third of the Army’s evergreen but soft-skinned Landrover fleet. The remaining two-thirds were replaced by the Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, which were procured under a different phase of Defence’s overarching Overlander (Land 121) programme.
Rolling out Hawkei
The Hawkei was selected for Land 121 Phase 4 in October 2015 over the US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme and other vehicles under the Manufactured and Supported in Australia option.
Delivery of the capability is being rolled out to Army, together with a number for the RAAF’s Combat Support Group (CSG), under a three-stage programme.