Thales Australia has won the 2016 Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia, in recognition of the development of the Hawkei Light Protected Vehicle.
Under the LAND 121 Phase 4 project, 1,100 of the highly mobile, highly protected light vehicles are being acquired, along with more than 1,000 trailers.
At least 50 per cent of the manufacturing and production costs are to occur in Australia, according to a statement from Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne congratulating Thales.
Thales Australia has identified about 15 Australian companies as major suppliers for the provision of subframes, steering, hydraulics, cooling, driveline, bonnet, dashboard, paint and weapon mounts, Minister Pyne stated.
The first five vehicles were delivered to Defence test facilities at Monegeetta in July. Low-rate initial production at Thales Australia’s Bendigo facility is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2017, with full-rate production expected to start in 2018.