The 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), based in Townsville, disclosed through a social media post that delivery has formally been taken of at least five Hawkei Class 4x4 vehicles. Up until now, the rollout of the Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV) has been stalled due to design issues.
The post – shared to Facebook – stated that "the [1st] Battalion acquired the Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) 'Hawkei'.
"1 RAR is excited to introduce the new platform into service in order to complement our current motorised capability," it said.
Several sources have suggested the delivery to be the first rollout of the PMV made under the low-rate initial production phase. Given the Australian government has made a considerable commitment to the model (announcing in October 2015 a $1.3 billion purchase order for 1,100 Hawkei PMVs), delivery could ramp up significantly if no further flaws are detected through the LRIP.
The PMV is designed to complement and replace Australia's current fleet under Project LAND 121 Phase 4. The vehicle is lighter than previous models, weighing in at just seven tonnes. External specifications include a V-shaped monocoque hull, and composite Applique armour provided by Israeli company Plasan.
However, design and suppy chain issues have proved a drag on the model's rollout. After main engine supplier Steyr Motors (Austria) went into receivership, the company was purchased by Thales to ensure supply chain integrity.