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12 Oct 15. Thales Australia outlines expansive Hawkei industry engagement project. Thales Australia’s recently secured contract to deliver 1,100 Hawkei 4×4 light protected mobility vehicles to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is being supported by a programme of expansive industrial engagement, the company told IHS Jane’s on 12 October.
The contract was announced by the Australian government on 5 October and is worth AUD1.3bn (USD910m). The project fulfils the ADF’s requirement outlined in Project LAND 121 Phase 4 to replace the majority of the ADF’s unprotected Land Rover fleet.
The programme will see the seven-tonne Hawkei assembled and produced at the company’s Bendigo facility in Victoria along with more than 1,000 trailers included in the same contract. The three-and-a-half year production phase is scheduled to begin from mid-2017, with first deliveries expected towards the end of that year as Thales Australia gradually winds down its production of the 15-tonne Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle.
But while Thales Australia is leading the manufacturing project, a spokesperson from the company said the Hawkei programme is the result of a wide-ranging industrial undertaking, with “over half of the major suppliers” on the programme being domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Thales has worked very closely with local industry since the beginning of the Hawkei programme,” said the spokesperson, “conducting a nationwide information programme and supplier search backed by viable long-term commercial opportunities for suppliers to get involved.”
He said that Thales Australia was supported in its industrial engagement efforts by the Victorian Defence Alliance, a local industry group; the Australian Industry & Defence Network, which supports SMEs across the country; and the Industry Capability Network, which provides assistance to prime contractors, identifying capable local industries in Australia and New Zealand. The spokesperson added, “As the process continued, Thales relied on suppliers not just to simply supply components but to play a real role in the design and engineering work. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Oct 15. General Dynamics Land Systems – UK successfully completed a tactical road move of 650 miles with its 8×8 Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) Demonstrator, and the Ocelot General Purpose Vehicle- Logistics (GPV(L)) on Tuesday 20 October. The move was completed in 16 hours, including mandatory breaks. The vehicles averaged 52mph without fault, demonstrating a high level of agility and reliability. Based on the latest General Dynamics Land Systems 8×8 technologies now in service with the US and Canadian Armies, the LAV Demonstrator represents best-in-class levels of mobility, protection and payload. All systems on the LAV Demonstrator are currently in production and available as off-the-shelf technology.
The LAV Demonstrator was accompanied on its journey by the Ocelot General Purpose Vehicle – Logistics (GPV-L) which is designed to provide intimate logistic support to combat troops, with a payload capacity of 2,500kg. This versatile vehicle has the same chassis and driveline as the in-service Foxhound 4×4 Light Protected Patrol Vehicle and the same high levels of protection and mobility.
Kevin Connell, Vice President of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said: “Completing this demanding journey is evidence of the tactical mobility and deployment capabilities of the LAV and Ocelot, and the agility required of combat vehicles in modern warfare. Reliability is a key factor in reducing logistic support demands on operations and we are delighted that we have been able to demonstrate the reliability of Stryker/LAV Platform and Ocelot as fit for purpose equipment for the British Army future needs.”
25 Oct 15. Altay engine manufactu