Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and defence minister Marise Payne are due to visit Bendigo today to announce that Thales Australia has won the $1.5 billion contract to produce the new hi-tech patrol vehicle for the Australian Army.
The Australian reports this morning that around 1000 of the vehicles will be built by Thales, which also built Australia’s Bushmaster troop carriers.
The Australian says the Hawkei:
weighs seven tonnes, which makes it light enough to be carried under one of the Australian Defence Force’s giant Chinook helicopters. It is designed to give troops much greater protection than the Land Rovers they once used.
The Hawkei is said to provide unparalleled protection against landmines, roadside bombs and gunfire. It can carry up to six fully equipped soldiers at a top speed of more than 110km/h and has a range of more than 1000km.
Named after an Australia death adder, the Hawkei is a result of a international tender process and will no doubt be a major boost to the Bendigo region and the Victorian economy.
Here’s a look at the Hawkei from the Thales site.
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