Thales displayed its multirole Hawkei protected vehicle at Eurosatory. (Thales)
PARIS — British Army requirements for a multirole protected vehicle is a potential target for Thales as the company brings its Hawkei machine to Eurosatory as part of an international sales drive.
The Australian arm of Thales had left-hand and right-hand drive variants of the vehicle on display at the defense show, which opened here Monday.
“We expect to be a bidder” for the multirole vehicle protected program, said Alex Cresswell, Thales executive vice president for land and air systems.
The right-hand drive vehicle is being shipped to the UK immediately after Eurosatory closes its doors on Friday to take part in the Ministry of Defence’s DVD exhibition at Millbrook, Cresswell told reporters.
The British Ministry of Defence is in the concept phase of a program to buy a protected multirole machine able to undertake command-and-control, logistics and passenger-carrying duties.
The executive said the UK was among several sales prospects in Europe and the Middle East being eyed by Thales.
The Netherlands was another export target, said Cresswell. The Netherlands and Britain already field the company’s Bushmaster mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle.
Hawkei is a helicopter-transportable, 7-ton, four-wheel-drive vehicle developed in Australia using a Plasan-supplied armored cab built in Israel.
The vehicle remains on track to meet an Australian requirement for 1,300 Hawkeis to replace part of their large Land Rover fleet.
Thales supplied six Hawkeis to the Australian Department of Defence last year for testing.
Cresswell said the vehicle had met all of its Australian program milestones and he was as “confident as I can be of an order next year.” ■