PROGRESS on the $1.3 billion Hawkei contract reached a significant milestone this week when two Bendigo-built vehicles were handed over to the Australian Defence Force.
Federal Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne formally accepted the two Thales Australia-made vehicles at the Victoria Barracks on Monday.
“Hawkei production will involve about 170 jobs in the Bendigo region,” Mr Pyne said. “It’s expected approximately 60 additional jobs will be created in Thales’ supply chain to support the production of the Hawkei vehicle.”
The Department of Defence signed a $1.3 billion contract with Thales Australia in October last year to produce 1100 Hawkei vehicles and more than 1000 companion trailers.
The two Hawkei vehicles are the last of an initial run of 10 pilot Hawkei to be manufactured by Thales.
Their completion paves the way for full-rate production of the vehicles in 2018. All Hawkei vehicles will be delivered to the ADF by the end of 2021.