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Thread: Hawkei

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Mark Abernethy
    In a nation where so many have a 4x4
    and which has the best country in the
    world to drive over, Australia was
    bound to come up with a world-beating
    army vehicle.
    Since the 1980s, the Australian Army
    has used a Land Rover Defender variant
    called the Perentie, which was built
    in 4x4 and 6x6 models and used Isuzu
    diesel engines rather than the Land
    Rover originals.
    But the Australian Defence Force is
    replacing its ageing Land Rovers with
    two vehicles: the unprotected model is
    the Mercedes-Benz G-wagon, a wellknown
    general purpose runaround for
    military use.
    But it's the Thales Hawkei - replacing
    the blast-protected, combat Land
    Rover - that signifies a leap forward for
    Australia's design and build capability
    in defence industry.
    "I was recently at the defence expo in
    Abu Dhabi," Thales Australia chief
    executive Chris Jenkins says. "There
    was a lot of impressive hardware at
    that show, but everyone was stopping
    for the Hawkei."
    The Hawkei is a vehicle born of hard
    experience and grim reality in combat
    areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Taking all of what was liked about the
    Bushmaster, Australia's first domestically
    designed and manufactured protected
    land vehicle is getting rave
    reviews before it is officially deployed
    with the Australian Army.
    It is driven by a 200kw Steyr turbo
    diesel engine, through an automatic
    transmission, and is a four-wheel drive
    with low and high ratios. It can carry
    five people and has a trailer designed to
    be towed behind.
    It has been built to operate in desert
    heat and alpine cold and, according to
    Jenkins, it is very simple to drive and
    travels well on the road.
    "It's large but agile."
    But that is about the only similarity
    to the 4x4 parked in the driveway.
    For a start, the Hawkei is a 7-tonne
    vehicle, making it about two-and-a-half
    times the weight of a Toyota Land
    Cruiser. The Hawkei is also a generator
    on wheels.
    With an inline starter/generator connected
    to its motor, the Hawkei has
    30kw of electrical power on-tap, which
    it can export: it can run all the onboard
    ADF electronics and mobile devices,
    and can export power to run a camp
    site, or mobile mechanic workshop.
    Then there's the blast and ballistic
    protection. While the big sister of the
    Hawkei - the Thales Bushmaster -
    earned its reputation against Improvised
    Explosive Devices (IEDs) in
    Afghanistan with its monocoque
    V-shaped hull that deflects blasts, the
    Hawkei also has other tricks. The seats
    are suspended from the roof, reducing
    a main cause of death in a vehicle hit by
    "In an IED blast, three things will kill
    or injure the occupants of a vehicle,"
    says Jenkins.
    "Number one is the vertical acceleration
    from the IED.
    "Secondly, if the IED breaches the
    vehicle, the blast pressure can crush
    the occupants; and thirdly, objects in
    the vehicle become projectiles and fly
    into the occupants.
    "So we make sure that the occupants
    are not sitting on the blast, we make
    sure the hull doesn't rupture with the
    blast, and the interior of the Hawkei is
    designed so there's no need for loose
    And that is one of the reasons the generator
    is now built-in: no 50 kg projectile
    flying around like a wrecking ball.
    Jenkins says the Australiandesigned
    protected mobility vehicle,
    the Bushmaster - about twice the size
    of the Hawkei - had taught the designers
    many lessons about protected
    vehicles, including the need to perfect
    the suspension, the need for top-shelf
    differentials and gearboxes, the
    importance of good engine management
    applications and the requirement
    to have an adaptable design so the
    vehicle can be quickly reformatted.
    "People would notice that a vehicle like
    the American Humvee had many different
    types of design, but they were all
    added-on which adds weight and cost.
    We've developed variants for the
    Hawkei but we've avoided the bolt-ons
    and designed the changes into the
    The Hawkei will support a remotely
    controlled weapon station (RCWS)
    primarily for use with light and
    medium weapons but accommodating
    weapons from 5.56mm machine guns
    to anti-tank missiles.
    Jenkins says the Hawkei is a product
    of an engineering philosophy that promotes
    a continuous feedback between
    the design engineers and those who
    use the vehicle. They call it Integrated
    Design Teams.
    "We have a structured feedback system
    so we are constantly hearing from
    the soldiers about strengths and weaknesses
    in the vehicles. It was a really
    valuable exercise with the Bushmaster
    and it forms a basis for designing the
    Hawkei. Creating a vehicle should be
    the first step but you have to improve
    and innovate and we build that process
    into the design."
    Jenkins says the contract for the
    Hawkei is valued at $1.3 billion, supplying
    at least 1100 vehicles and 1000 trailers,
    the first of which are produced in
    the second half of 2017, with deliveries
    starting in 2018.
    The contract for the
    Hawkei is valued at
    $1.3b and deliveries
    will start in

    2012 LR Defender 90 (BERT) Gone
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  2. #2
    Homestar's Avatar
    Homestar is offline Super Moderator & CA manager Gold Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Sunbury, VIC
    Good driving position and comfy too - he's me sitting in one last week.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    From my point of view the best thing about them is they can be lifted by a Chinook. You can avoid a lot of dangerous areas by flying them there.

    2012 LR Defender 90 (BERT) Gone
    2012 Husqvarna WR 300
    2014 FPV F6 Gone
    2005 D3 SE V8
    2011 D4 V8
    2016 Moto Guzzi California Audace.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    brighton, brisbane
    The Hawkei is slated to be the platform for the new ground to air missile defence system for the Army. That exportable power would be perfect for this. Having the operators in a protected environment makes sense.

    ADF releases images of future missile-defence platform - CONTACT magazine
    Iím pretty sure the dinosaurs died out when they stopped gathering food and started having meetings to discuss gathering food

    A bookshop is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking

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