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16 Aug 17. Quickstep to withdraw from Hawkei programme. Australian composite specialist Quickstep Holdings is planning to withdraw from the Thales Australia programme to build Hawkei 4×4 light protected mobility vehicles for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it has been confirmed to Jane’s.
The withdrawal is expected at the end of 2017 and follows Quickstep’s announced intention to restructure its production activities, placing greater emphasis on the company’s core carbon-fibre technologies. The restructure is intended to position Quickstep for “growth and profitability”, according to the company. Quickstep’s subcontractor involvement in the Hawkei programme is based on an agreement signed with Thales Australia in October 2014 through which the company, which is based in New South Wales, has been manufacturing glass-fibre composites for the vehicle including its bonnet, side skirts, and mud guards. A representative of Quickstep said in a statement, “Quickstep has undertaken a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Quickstep business, which was completed in July 2017. “Quickstep confirms that subject to appropriate programme timing, the company will cease non-core programmes that do not fit with our future growth plans. This includes the Thales Hawkei project, which uses glass-fibre technology [that] is not aligned to Quickstep’s business. We will complete current orders and plan to fill remaining orders through 2017.” A Thales Australia spokesman said the company is working with Tasmanian firm Penguin Composites to provide bonnets and other composite assemblies for the Hawkei, adding that “it is not expected that this will affect the delivery of the project”. Under a AUD1.3bn (USD910m) contract awarded in 2015, Thales Australia is leading the programme to build more than 1,000 Hawkei vehicles in collaboration with a wide range of Australian firms. Thales has segmented this supply work into around 30 major packages, including those related to heating, ventilation, and cooling systems; bonnet assembly; pneumatic and hydraulic systems; plastic components; and engine casings. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Aug 17. LAND 400 Phase 2 testing complete. Blast testing has been completed on the two contenders vying for Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) programme, the Australian Department of Defence announced on 11 August. The BAE Systems Australia- Patria AMV-35 and Rheinmetall’s Boxer were exposed to simulated mine blasts to assess their survivability at the Proof and Experimental Establishment at Graytown in Victoria. The blast tests were conducted under the wheels and under the belly of the vehicles, and mark the final phase of a rigorous programme designed to put the two vehicles through their paces in a range of operating environments. The test and evaluation programme assessed the vehicles and their support systems across a wide range of criteria, with a particular focus on protection, lethality and mobility; and three phases of user evaluations were conducted at Puckapunyal in Victoria and the Mt Bundey Training Area in the Northern Territory. The winner of the contract will be announced in the first half of 2018. A total of 225 CRVs will be procured by Australia. (Source: Shephard)
15 Aug 17. With the contemporary environment continuing to demand high mobility over long ranges for armed forces, requirements continue to be satisfied with emerging technologies based around Internally Transportable Vehicles (ITVs).
ITVs should be capable of being stowed internally onboard a heavylift rotorcraft such as a Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopter, a Bell-Boeing CV/MV-22A Osprey tilt rotor or a fixed-wing Lockheed Martin C-130J turboprop freighter. Such a concept provides a rapid reaction capability to troops seeking to deploy at extend