First LRIP Hawkei vehicles delivered to 1RAR
The 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) based in Townsville, Queensland, disclosed on its website that it had formally taken delivery on 24 March of at least five Hawkeis to complement its current motorised capability of Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicles – Medium.
Under an AUD1.3 billion (USD975 million) contract signed in October 2015 Thales Australia was to supply 1,100 of the seven-tonne vehicles – along with 1,058 companion trainers – to replace the majority of the army’s blast-protected Land Rover fleet in command, liaison, utility, and reconnaissance roles.
The Hawkei project has been delayed because of reliability and design issues. In July 2019 Thales bought bankrupt Hawkei engine manufacturer Steyr Motors after the Austrian company went into receivership in February 2019, putting at risk the supply of engines to the Hawkei programme.