The Australian Army’s fleet of Thales Hawkei protected mobility vehicles-light (PMV-L) has achieved an initial operational capability (IOC).
Procured under Project LAND 121 Phase 4, the Australian-designed and produced Hawkei has had a protracted development and operational introduction into service.
The Hawkei was named as the preferred solution for the project in December 2011, and it was announced in October 2015 that 1,100 Hawkeis would be acquired. In 2016 Thales was awarded the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Eureka Prize for the development of the Hawkei, and in 2018 a number of vehicles were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan for operational evaluation.
Full rate production of the Hawkei was announced in September 2020 but it and the planned IOC slipped from to mid-2021 due to an issue with the brakes which has reportedly now been resolved.
“This project is an excellent example of Australian industry providing Defence capability to meet Australian requirements,” Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said in a statement. “Hawkei has been designed and built in Australia by Thales Australia, which supports Australian jobs and Australian service personnel.”