SYDNEY, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Thales Australia is recruiting small- and medium-sized businesses for its Hawkei patrol vehicle manufacturing supply chain.
The company met recently with representatives from 20 potential suppliers -- many from the state of Victoria, where the vehicles will be made -- and detailed how they could contribute to the building of the 4x4 armored vehicles in the manufacture of its fabricated sub-frame, components and assemblies.
Thales said it is segmenting the Hawkei supply chain work into about 30 major work packages.
"We are actively investigating Hawkei supply chain options, talking to many suppliers who want to be part of the manufacturing process," said Thales Australia Chief Executive Officer Chris Jenkins. "Our Hawkei vehicles are currently undergoing testing by the Department of Defense and, if we are successful in securing a manufacturing contract, we'll be working very closely with suppliers who can deliver cost-effective, high performance components for what is an important defense program.
"Manufacturing is a crucial part of this nation's industrial base, and we will continue to support defense industry manufacturing because this industry has repeatedly proven it can deliver vital capabilities to the Australian Defense Force," he said.
Australia plans to purchase more than 1,000 armored vehicles as part of a military modernization program.