Victoria is the leading state for the design, manufacture and sustainment of protected military vehicles. Thales, together with other prime defence companies and Victoria’s highly skilled industry supply chain, have manufactured the Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicle, an 11-tonne, 4 x 4 protected military vehicle designed to protect up to 10 occupants with ballistic protection and provide excellent off-road mobility. The Bushmaster has proven highly successful in Australian Defence Force (ADF)operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing Australian troops with mobility and protection, particularly against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
As part of a $1.3 billion contract with the ADF, Thales’ Bendigo plant will produce 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and 1,000 trailers. 16 of the 19 Australian Tier 1 suppliers in the Hawkei program are Victorian. The three-and-a-half year production phase will begin in late 2017 with first deliveries expected in 2018. The vehicles will perform reconnaissance, liaison, command and utility functions. The Hawkei is the only protected mobility vehicle in the ADF that can be transported by ADF helicopters.
Victoria’s proven expertise in land system defence capabilities means it can successfully deliver the ADF's land combat enhancements identified in the Federal Government’s 2016 Defence White Paper.
For information on Victoria’s land systems supply chain see Victorian Defence Alliance – Land Systems
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