|Hawkei - next generation innovation
29 September 2009
Thales's next generation Hawkei vehicle is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the Australian Defence Force and key export customers.
This new lightweight Protected Mobility Vehicle achieves high levels of blast and ballistic protection at a mass that allows increased levels of tactical and operational mobility. "In developing the Hawkei, we have taken the lessons learned building the highly successful Bushmaster and, in combination with our partners, applied that thinking and experience to the new vehicle," said Ian Irving, Thales Australia's Land & Joint Systems Division Vice President.
"Hawkei is a new, next generation vehicle representing a genuine advance in design and innovation. All of the technology building blocks are battle proven and validated through operations, and have now been incorporated into a low risk design representing the next generation of vehicle system."
The new ground-breaking design meets the ADF's performance and capability requirements, including systems that allow the Hawkei to become a fully integrated node on the network centric battlefield. The Hawkei is designed to accommodate the future system demands of adaptive campaigning, with C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) capabilities a fundamental part of its DNA.
A systems approach to vehicle protection includes high levels of mine blast protection integrated into the Hawkei's hull design, while its adaptable ballistic protection technology is designed to be easily removed for air transportation and then refitted by a two-person crew in less than 30 minutes without using specialised equipment. This innovative design allows the Hawkei to be operated in full protection configuration that can then be reconfigured and upgraded for specific mission threats.
The Hawkei also delivers significant manufacturing and through life support cost savings over current ADF platforms. Thales has worked closely with the PAC Group to design a flexible production capability, and with numerous SMEs to maximise value for money across the supply chain.
"Evidence from other Australian defence industry programs suggests that large vehicle fleets based on imported technologies have significantly raised through life support costs. This is not the case with the Hawkei, which efficiently uses existing through life support systems and performance-based contracting models," Mr Irving continued.
"The Hawkei program contributes to the retention of skilled competitive suppliers capable of supporting and repairing sophisticated equipment for the ADF. It also brings more Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the support pipeline, generating an effective support system that an overseas-based solution simply could not match."