The Australian Army are to gain a new rapid mobility 4×4 vehicle to replace their dated Land Rover Perentie patrol vehicles. Made in Australia, the Hawkei is a light armoured patrol vehicle powered by a six-cylinder, 3.2 litre turbo diesel Steyr motor, which produces 200kW at 4,000rpm and 610Nm at 2,000rpm. It is the same size engine as in a Ford Ranger, but plenty more grunt. It carries ceramic composite protective armour, which can be removed in around half an hour, which decreases the weight of the vehicle by 900 kilos. There are provisions for rear-wheel steer options, and a three tonne payload.
1,100 of the Hawkei 4X4 will be made by Thales, the company behind the well regarded and Australian made Bushmaster which is a much bigger truck, designed for carrying up to nine soldiers in light armour. The Bushmaster has proven itself in many conflicts and is used by Japan, Britain and other European armed forces.
When you look at the Hawkei, it is a dual-cab utility pickup. It’s made to be lighter and more manouverable than the Bushmaster, but still providing more protection for the users than the soon to be retired Land Rover Perenties. The v-shaped hull will deflect IED bombs protecting those inside, despite the heavy armour protection, the Hawkei is light enough to be air-portable slung under a Chinook helicopter. Varying specs of the basic model are available to suit their roles, including medi-vac, gunship, flatbed pick up and general purpose.
Having a top speed of 115 kilometers per hour, and a range of 600 kilometers the truck has a better range than its predecessor, considering its weight of a hefty 10.4 tonne.