Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, the Hon Mal Brough MP, today visited the Thales Australia vehicle manufacturing facility in Bendigo, the production hub for Defence’s $1.3 billion Hawkei protected vehicles.
Defence signed a contract with Thales Australia on 5 October 2015 for the manufacture and support of 1,100 Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light (PMV-L) and associated trailers.
Minister Brough said Thales will draw on its experience producing the Australian designed and made Bushmaster, which they have been producing since 2004 and widely recognised as one of the best protected mobility vehicles in the world.
“The Bushmaster has been deployed on operations in the Middle East and performed exceptionally well and have been vitally important in ensuring our ADF personnel are safe while undertaking operations. The Bushmasters have unquestionably saved countless lives where it has been deployed,” Minister Brough said.
“Thales Australia has proven its design and engineering quality with the Bushmaster and the expertise and skills of its workforce will transition to the new Hawkei vehicle.”
Thales Australia estimates that the workforce in Bendigo dedicated to the Hawkei contract will exceed 170 staff over the period 2016-17, with additional jobs to be created in Thales' supply chain and as part of the support arrangements.
Importantly, Australian companies will supply key Hawkei components, including cross-drive and steering racks, electrical harnesses, sub-frame components, steering, hydraulic systems, cooling systems, bonnets, instrument clusters, and dashboards.
Thales also is pursuing export opportunities for the Hawkei.
Minister Brough’s office: 0477 395 356
Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999