Thales Australia’s procurement team has met with success at the ASCI2019 conference for its efforts in supporting the Australian Army’s Hawkei development and acquisition program.
Procurement director Michelle Richard congratulated the team on the achievement and recognition, saying, “It’s been a tremendous effort over several years. We knew that we were doing something great, but it’s always nice to receive an accolade from the Australasian Supply Chain Institute.”
Thales is delivering a new generation of protected vehicles. Hawkei meets the requirements of global defence forces for a highly protected, mobile and integrated vehicle able to operate in an environment under threat from improvised explosive devices, mines and ambushes.
- Hawkei is a 10-tonne, 4x4, new-generation protected vehicle with a 3-tonne payload, designed to meet the demanding requirements of land forces worldwide.
- Hawkei delivers class-leading protection, mobility and payload with unparalleled levels of blast and ballistic protection for a helicopter transportable vehicle.
- Highly effective across a diverse range of mission profiles. Roles include troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, liaison, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“Several members of the team were part of this journey. But I would like to especially thank Alex Wootton, who was the first to introduce the PVets at Thales Australia on this program. This was more than just a process, it was instrumental to drive the cultural change required to shift our engagement from transactional to strategic,” Richard said.
The recognition comes following major testing milestones earlier this year, including:
- A blast test of the two-door vehicle was undertaken on 2 March 2017 at Proof and Experimental Establishment Graytown, followed by the blast test for the four-door vehicle on 17 March 2017. Both tests were successful. A two-door vehicle successfully underwent additional blast testing on 17 May 2018.
- A two-week user trial with Army and accredited test services was conducted at Townsville Field Training Area from 6-17 February 2017 employing prototype Hawkei vehicles. A second user trial, employing low-rate initial production Hawkei vehicles that are more representative of the final build state, was also conducted with the 3rd Brigade in Townsville from 8-25 October 2018. Feedback from the user trials is being incorporated into the vehicle design.
- A successful external air lift trial was conducted over June-July 2017 in Townsville on both the two-door and four-door vehicles in various load states.
- Defence conducted a formal trial involving the deployment of two Hawkei vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan from December 2017 to August 2018. The key trial objectives included the identification of operations and support issues and evaluating the deployment considerations for the Hawkei capability.
Stage three of the program is “full-rate production”, with the remaining 1,000 vehicles and 958 trailers to be delivered to Defence by 2022.
“I would also like to thank Peter Goodwin for his support throughout this journey. And finally, thank you to all the category buyers for their effort and resilience, sometimes under challenging conditions,” Richard said.
The government signed an agreement with Thales Australia in October 2015 for the acquisition and support of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and 1,058 companion trailers, for use in “command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles”.
The vehicles are being specifically developed to meet the ADF’s requirements for survivability, mobility, payload, communications, useability and sustainability.