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02:57 PM, October 5, 2015
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Hawkei Light Armored Vehicle (Image:Thales)

Australia will spend US $1.3 billion on home-made new light-armored vehicles to replace aging Land Rover fleet for the Army.

“The Australian Army will order 1,100 Hawkies from Thales Australia,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne made the announcement at a test facility at Monegeetta, north of Melbourne Monday.

"This $1.3 billion investment will mean greater capability for Defence, around 170 more jobs in the innovative frontier of technology manufacturing in Victoria, and will consolidate Australia's position as a world leader in military transport technology," he said.

"It's been designed with the future in mind so that as new technology becomes available it can be engineered into the vehicle to give our soldiers the best available tools in the most dangerous situations," he said.

Ms Payne said the Australian-made vehicle would be a world leader and said there was "enormous potential" for it to be sold internationally.

"The fact that it is a lighter vehicle than the traditional Bushmaster, the fact that it has a degree of mobility in very high-risk areas, and has a significant degree of blast and ballistic protection for our serving members means that it should be very attractive on the international market," she said.

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