Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, visited Poland earlier this week to support Thales Australia’s bid to export its cutting-edge Hawkei vehicles and strengthen the Australia-Poland defence relationship.
Minister Pyne said Poland is working to significantly modernise its defence capability and is looking to initially acquire around 50 protected mobility vehicles, with follow on acquisition programs expected to increase this to approximately 700. This is part of a $46 billion expansion of their defence force.
“Like Australia, Poland’s defence forces are undertaking an unprecedented renewal of their capabilities,” Minister Pyne said.
“Thales Australia’s Hawkei vehicle is ideally placed to provide Poland’s defence forces with the world-class protected vehicle capability they need.
“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,” Minister Pyne said.
During the visit the Minister witnessed the signing of a memorandum of intent between WB Electronics, a Polish company, and Australian SME Cablex to work together and look to provide WB’s command and communication systems and unmanned air vehicle systems to the Australian Government and other foreign customers.
Minister Pyne also discussed with Poland their expression of interest in purchasing Australia’s Adelaide class frigates as they come out of service over the next two years.
During his visit to Poland, the Minister discussed export opportunities and the wider Australian-Polish relationship with Mr Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland and Mr Bartosz Kownacki, Secretary of State for Defence.