Saturday, May 29, 2010

The 3 Contenders for Australia's Land 121 phase 4 procurement.

Thanks to my friend Aussie Digger, I've gotten the scoop on this competition.  Read his comments here, but suffice it to say that the reporting has been "spotty" at best .  Let me simply add that what this is really all about is to allow Australian Defense Companies to bid against the JLTV that the Australians are co-developing with US forces....but more on that below...for now....

The 3 vehicles competing against the JLTV are...the Ocelot,


and Eagle IV.

My view of this competition is fairly simple.  First lets talk about the Mowag Eagle IV.  It has absolutely no chance in this competition.  Its ballistic protection is fair and relies on spall liners and extra armoring without the benefit of a blast resistant form (read that as it doesn't have a v-hull).  What's surprising is the fact that General Dynamics Australia would offer it at all.  If it becomes a price shootout then all bets are off and the Mowag becomes the front runner.  If its a matter of selecting the most capable vehicle then it doesn't stand a chance.  But as the British comp for the FRES showed us, General Dynamics is willing to take a price hit in order to put a vehicle in production.  And as that competition showed us, occasionally governments will accept the least capable product if its priced right.  We certainly know all about that in the US.

The next vehicle is the Force Protection Ocelot.  I am personally in love with this design.  I think its innovative, sized perfectly and the idea of a skate board design with engine, suspension and wheels being mounted separately is beyond appealing.  I think it could be life saving.  While this is my favorite, I don't know how this vehicle will play with local politics.  Force Protection Europe teamed up with Ricardo to make this offering to the British Military and I don't know if they have an Australian division.  If not then they start at a disadvantage.  A quick Google search didn't reveal a partner in this comp so despite it being I think the best design, it doesn't stand a chance.

Which leaves us with the Thales Hawkei.  Its a clean sheet design, like the Ocelot, but it has the advantage of being the home team.  Thales has been fairly tight lipped when it comes to some of the design features of this beast but it is handsome.  And again it has the home field advantage.

This should be fun to watch.

More Information -- to help clarify some of the misreporting can be found here...another Hat Tip to Aussie Digger for the link.


  1. The Hawkei's ballistic and blast protection is by Plasan.

    The Hawkei looks sweet in real life. That picture you have above is just a 3d model

  3. the ocelot one looks quite top heavy, so does the eagle, i am wondering about the cargo capacity of the hawkei though, how does it compare to the other two?

  4. hey anonymous...

    all you provided was a video that showed 3.5 seconds of what i believe is a mockup.

    if you have some real pics then share. otherwise shut up.

  5. the hawkei is 3 tonne payload i think and weight 7 tonnes itself

  6. WTF Solomon?! I offered to help with some real pictures and you tell me to shutup?! How did I offend you?

    follow that 2nd link and you'll see some pictures from the factory. Its a better picture than a 3d render

  7. Thanks mate. That's cleared things up nicely.



  8. hey anonymous.

    i don't need 'that' kind of help. i despise arrogance. you come on my site and say 'that's just a 3d model you posted' ...what's with that?

    you just posted a 3d model?????

    the more i think about it the more pissed i become.

    you went to army recognition, they use the same 3d pics from the Thales site and have a couple from a trade show and you want me to use their work.

    pound sand son.

    help like that i don't need.

  9. calm down Sol

    watch this

  10. So is Australia still participating in JLTV then?

  11. Sol, arrogance? WTF? Theres no arrogance anywhere dude. Only in your mind. Its not an attempt to step on anyone who like 3d models or use 3d models, but an genuine offer to show you another version of this beautiful vehicle that you may not be aware of. If you don't use it, no biggie. If you use it great. CHILL!

  12. re-read your post bozo. it was filled with only have a 3d model???? what the fuck is that except arrogance?

    oh and i don't chill.

    you don't like it then move on.

  13. thindefence,

    Yes, Australia is still participating in JLTV. Australia is still planning on purchasing a couple of variants for road testing purposes to be held within Australia, before making a decision on the 1300x vehicle requirement.

    Here's hoping the planets align and the "Australian" manufacturers have their sh*t together, to conduct road testing of their own products around the same time.

    Otherwise this relatively straight forward project will continue to drag on as they whinge bitterly about "level playing fields" all the while being unable to actually deliver on their own promises...



  14. Force Protection meets with potential suppliers for Australia’s $1 billion vehicle contract
    Publisher: Force Protection Europe Limited
    Date: 07/02/2010

    Force Protection has completed a series of discussions with potential suppliers across four states as it refines its Australian manufacturing plans for the $1 billion protected mobility vehicle contract.

    The Australian Government in May announced that Force Protection was one of three Australian-based solutions to be given the opportunity to win the contract to manufacture up to 1300 next-generation protected mobility vehicles, under the ‘Land 121 Phase 4’ program.

    Force Protection has again met with potential suppliers as well as State Government ministers and industry representatives in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

    Force Protection Chief Executive Officer, Michael Moody, said discussions with suppliers last year had opened up several manufacturing options for its Ocelot vehicle across the four states, and it was important to further progress these discussions now that the company had been short-listed for the Australian Government contract.

    “The reception we have received from both suppliers and government representatives over the past couple of weeks has been extremely positive, and confirmed our view that we can build a world class vehicle utilising the best of Australian military and automotive manufacturing expertise and know-how,” Mr Moody said.

    “We are committed to operating in Australia and we look forward to making further announcements about our plans.”

    Force Protection was one of the companies recently down-selected by the UK Ministry of Defence to tender for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle Program – Demonstration, Production and Support Phases and has been awarded a contract by the UK MoD for the supply of two Ocelot light protected patrol vehicles for testing.

    Its Ocelot vehicle has undergone significant development in conjunction with leading independent technology provider Ricardo to provide high levels of survivability together with exceptional cross country mobility, flexibility and value for money.

    The Ocelot’s capabilities have already been proven by a sustained program of blast, ballistic, automotive and manoeuvrability tests conducted since 2009.

    The Ocelot can be maintained and repaired quickly in the field to ensure maximum availability, while its unique modular design enables the vehicle to be reconfigured in theatre within two hours to meet a variety of different roles, such as patrol, fire support and protected logistics.

    Force Protection continues to test and refine the Ocelot vehicle, taking in to account the specific operational requirements for the Australian Defence Force.

  15. Sol - I think you're on the right track with your analysis, but...

    GD have confirmed that they're offering the 'new' Eagle (not Eagle IV), which apparently gives "MRAP-class mine protection" and "a payload of 3,000 kilograms", although I'm not sure I buy that -

    Ocelot was designed for the UK LPPV requirement, which is very different to the LAND 121 Phase 4 requirement, so won't be what the Aussies want (this is also highlighted in the attached article on the 'new' Eagle). It therefore doesn't stand a chance, no matter how 'good' it might be.

    Hawkei on the other hand seems to tick all the boxes - home territory AND designed specifically for the requirement.

    So it looks like the competition will be between the 'new' Eagle and Hawkei.

    With the home-territory advantage and being designed specifically for the requirement, my money's on the Hawkei. It'll be hard to beat.


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