Australian Hawkei Vehicles to Iraq for Test and Evaluation


1/23/18:Two PMV-L Hawkei vehicles have arrived in the Middle East Region to conduct operational test and evaluation trials in Iraq.

Soldiers from Task Group Taji 6 will utilise these vehicles throughout the trial period which will assess the sustainability of the vehicles.

The vehicles were transported from Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East Region to Taji in Iraq on Royal Australian Air Force C-130J aircraft.

Australian Defence Force members are deployed on Operation Accordion and support and sustain ADF operations in the Middle East region, enabling contingency operations and enhancing regional relationship.

Australian Department of Defence

January 14, 2018

In a 2017 interview we conducted with Chris Jenkins of Thales Australia, we discussed the new combat vehicle.

Question: Key platforms are being bought which are software upgradeable.

This means a very different approach to upgrading and modernizing platforms, and if you want to shape an integrated approach you clearly need to find ways to shape cross cutting software integration.

How do you do this?

Chris Jenkins: The Defense Department for a long time have been saying open architecture’s what they want to see in platform systems.

The goal is to be able to insert, with relative ease, new software developments, new applications, new functionalities, to enable agility, the ability to adapt the capability in our systems more rapidly.

We learned a lot about that in Afghanistan with some of the land-based platforms we had.

We have also learned about the capability advantage of having open architecture in things like Australia’s submarines and surface ships as well.

Today, what we’re seeing is that open architecture capability is really being valued in the acquisition process, and we’re seeing the service chiefs and the forces being much more effective in requesting and getting open architecture implementations for the systems into ships and vehicles and so on.

It’s putting pressure into some suppliers to review their previous business model of delivering hardware and software “locked in” to a single source of capability upgrade. It could be communications systems or battle management systems or whatever.

The new model is going to be open architecture.

This brings much greater flexibility and speed to adapt to changing operational needs.

We found that in the Bushmaster vehicles going to Afghanistan, with the upgrades to systems progressively through that whole conflict.

The number of capabilities that were trying to be inserted in the vehicle required hardware changes, more and more hardware being built up inside the vehicle, more power demand, more weight and a great difficulty to ensure the safety of the people inside the vehicle.

Just the practical aspects of getting the equipment in there are a problem, but it means you have lots of equipment that can be dislodged during a blast.

It becomes very difficult for the occupants, say for example, of the Bushmaster.

Some of the work done on the Hawkei learning from the Bushmaster experience was to create only a single integrated computing system with open architecture that then allows all the suppliers that Defense wants to work with to drop in their communications systems, their remote weapons system, their surveillance system, their battle management system.

The simple matter is exactly as you say.

That’s where the market is going.

That’s what defense forces want, and of course from an agility standpoint that’s what they need to have, so industry has to adapt how it works to make sure we make this happen quickly.

There are some very good examples of that now happening.

I think it’s a great change.

It’s a real change clearly delivering the agility our forces need.