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Poland eyes purchase of Hawkei vehicles and Adelaide class frigates

An Australian Army Hawkei protected mobility vehicle, one of the Army's new generation of combat vehciles, during Exercise Predator's Gallop in Cultana training area, South Australia, on 12 March 2016.

Hawkei protected vehicle. (Defence)

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has visited Poland to support a bid by Thales Australia to export the Hawkei protected vehicle, and to strengthen the defence relationship between Australia and Poland.

Minister Pyne also discussed an expression of interest in purchasing Adelaide class frigates from Australia as they are withdrawn from service over the next two years.

Poland is working to significantly modernise its military capabilities, Pyne said in a statement, and is looking to initially acquire about 50 protected mobility vehicles, with follow-on acquisition programs expected to increase this figure to approximately 700 vehicles.

“Thales Australia’s Hawkei vehicle is ideally placed to provide Poland’s defence forces with the world-class protected vehicle capability they need,” Minister Pyne said.

“The vehicle is a fantastic example of the innovation and capability of Australia’s defence industry. It builds upon Thales Australia’s international success with the Bushmaster vehicle, which is in service with seven countries.

“If successful, Thales Australia’s bid to export the Hawkei to Poland will provide additional work and job security for their Hawkei workforce and the supply chain to Thales.”

During the visit, Pyne witnessed the signing of a memorandum of intent between Polish company WB Electronics and Cablex, which has its headquarters in Melbourne, to work together and look to provide WB’s communications systems and unmanned aircraft systems to the Australian government and other customers.

HMAS Darwin comes alongside Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin, for the last time before decommissioning in December 2017.

Adelaide class frigate HMAS Darwin sailed into Darwin Harbour for the final time on November 1, before decommissioning due in December. (Defence)