The next-generation of light armoured patrol vehicles for the Australian Defence Force is entering full-scale production in Bendigo.
The Hawkei MPV – designed and manufactured by defence giant Thales – is a 7000kg armoured four-wheel-drive truck, capable of being adapted to troop carrying, a command hub, electronic warfare centre, or reconnaissance missions.
While passenger vehicle production may have left Australian shores, the Hawkei supports more than 200 jobs in the Bendigo region of Central Victoria.
At a recent event in Canberra, the Hawkei was shown fitted with a new CEATAC radar – an air defence radar adapted from naval applications, made by Australian company CEA Technologies.
The Hawkei is powered by a 3.2-litre turbo diesel six-cylinder, putting out 200kW and 610Nm through an eight-speed ZF gearbox.
Minister of Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, said "The Hawkei is a significant enhancement to existing land capability that will provide superior mobility, survivability and communications, while protecting the lives of our soldiers when operating in increasingly lethal and complex environments".
Approximately 50 vehicles will be produced at the Thales Protected Vehicles facility in Bendigo each month, following the Hawkei's final evaluation at Puckapunyal army base in early 2020.