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Thales Australia has pre-awarded a $5 million contract to RPC Technologies, an Australian specialist engineering company, to manufacture dashboard assemblies for the company’s new Hawkei vehicle.
The work is conditional on Thales securing a long-term contract with the Department of Defence for Hawkei. It would be carried out at RPC’s manufacturing facilities in Geelong, Victoria, and help sustain jobs over the four-year period of the contract.Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: “RPC has the expertise required for the production of military vehicles. Their commitment to excellence in manufacturing and value for money will benefit the Hawkei project, while also securing supply chain skills in Victoria.” Tony Caristo, Managing Director of RPC Technologies, said: “RPC is thrilled about the opportunity to work with Thales on the Hawkei project supplying the dashboard assemblies. RPC has a history of supporting Thales, having been involved with the Bushmaster program and also Thales Underwater Systems. This contract will help to secure the workforce of the Geelong plant and build RPC’s presence in Defence.” Thales Australia is currently leveraging its specialist procurement experience developed during the Bushmaster program to source industry participants to supply Hawkei components. The company is also using the industry’s technical and design capabilities to help reduce cost and weight. The Bushmaster supply chain itself comprises around 120 Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with more than 100 based in Victoria and 30 in the Bendigo area. The Bushmaster vehicle contains 65% Australian content, generating long term revenues for a wide range of local component manufacturers and supporting hundreds of Australian jobs. Thales has delivered six Hawkei vehicles to the Department of Defence, which are currently undergoing testing under the LAND 121 Phase 4 project that seeks to provide up to 1,300 protected light vehicles. Subject to successful testing, final approval of the project is expected around 2015.About RPC: RPC is a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of fibre composites and advanced materials. Specialising in the Defence, Infrastructure, Environment, Pipe Systems, Resource, Energy, Oil, Gas and Transport sectors, RPC offers integrated engineered and manufactured solutions to meet the needs of industry, from design and delivery to site installation to through-life support. RPC operate from high volume / low cost manufacturing through to the most advanced and complex of engineering challenges.About Thales: Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners. Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing around 3,200 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues of AUD 1 billion in 2013.More information:www.thalesgroup.com