CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- QinetiQ Australia has started second-stage fatigue testing of the Hawkei protected vehicle ordered by the Australian military.
The eight-week testing program of the Thales Australia vehicle is being conducted on behalf of the Australian Department of Defense and involves attaching a Hawkei production-level chassis to a 5 x 8m test rig for a series of tests to validate the predicted life of the structure.
"During the tests, we push the Hawkei to its absolute limits," said QinetiQ Australia's General Manager Land and Maritime George McGuire. "We artificially recreate the various stresses the Hawkei might be under in the field by placing a combination of loads on the chassis, which are activated by computer-operated hydraulics powered by 100 liters (about 26.4 gallons) of oil per minute.
"It is a very significant undertaking that requires a depth of technical expertise and practical implementation experience."
The Australian government in 2015 signed a contract worth more than $800 million with Thales Australia for 1,100 vehicles and more than 1,000 trailers for the Australian Army. Production is scheduled to begin from mid-2017.
QinetiQ Australia is a consulting and engineering services company.