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Peter Colwell
Frequent User
Username: peter_colwell

Post Number: 82
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 29 September, 2009 - 02:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Today, Canberra, Australia;

CANBERRA, Sept 29 - Australian soldiers could find themselves going to war in a vehicle named after a venomous snake - a thoroughly modern version of the tried and proven old Land Rover.
Defence company Thales has unveiled a mock-up of its new Hawkei (pronounced Hawk-eye) protected light mobility vehicle which is to
be offered to the Australian Defence Force under a project to replace about 1,300 Land Rovers with far more advanced vehicles.
Despite its long and proven service, the Land Rover offers minimal protection against the type of threat certain to be encountered in any future conflict - landmines, improvised
explosive devices and gunfire.

I know its not a Rolls-Royce, but it is about as British as you can get, and an icon in Australia for many reasons. It started what we now know as the SUV, in 1948. Australia might be a different place, were it not for the ubiquitious Land Rover.

There might be a bit of irony in the fact that the replacement vehicle will be powered by a Steyr diesel engine. From Austria.

(Message edited by peter_colwell on 29 September 2009)
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Andrew Lark
Experienced User
Username: drew

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 29 September, 2009 - 06:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks for the news Peter.

After spending many years working alongside the ADF, I have seen many a Land Rover on base. It will be sad to see them go.

The Perentie Land Rover wasn't quite as British as it may seem though, they were assembled in Australia under a Department of Defence contract and they were fitted with a 3.9 litre Isuzu diesel engine.

One good thing about them being replaced is that there will be heaps of them available at auction and I might be able to buy one, I've always wanted a 6x6 Perentie. BTW, Perentie is also named after a reptile.

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David Gore
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 911
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 01 October, 2009 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Looks like another battle coming up between the Defence Dept bureaucrats according to an article in the SMH yesterday.

One group wants a "lightweight" Hummer from the USA and this apparently was the only option put forward originally. Another DD group was then successful in having Thales involved based on the success of their larger "Bushmaster" in Afghanistan.

I know which vehicle I would want if I was a serving member of the ADF.
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Dan Tyson
New User
Username: stralya

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Thursday, 01 October, 2009 - 08:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Me too, I saw a Bushmaster up close at the Easter Show a couple of years ago and spoke with the WOII who was it's commander in Afghanistan. I asked, "How does this compare with the Hummer?", knowing full well what he'd say. He just grinned and said, "What do you think?"

(Message edited by Stralya on 01 October 2009)
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Bill Coburn
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 1175
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 03 October, 2009 - 07:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Well I remember when the first Land Rovers were delivered to my regiment in the late fifties last century! I had owned a beautiful 1949 four light Rover 75 Sports Saloon. One feature of the car was a straight gear stick 1/2" in diameter with a large knob on top complete with an engraved gate diagram and a button in the middle to prevent accidentally engaging reverse.

That gear stick was almost erotic to use, precise, smooth and very positive. All this to record my delight when these new fangled Land Rovers arrived they had precisely the same stick!!!

The new vehicles replaced the extraordinary Austin Champ which had through some desperate measure, been flogged to the Australian Army by clearly a zealous Brit determined to prove how stupid the bloody colonials really were. They were fitted with the B40 postwar RR engine and an extraordinary gearbox that had no reverse! That was an extra!

Well back to the Willys Jeep a 4 x 4 vehicle with a transfer case and low ratio. I came near as damn to being court marshalled for towing a 2 ton 25 pounder field gun to the Domain to fire a 21 gun salute because there were no other vehicles to do it. You are supposed to use four guns but I resisted the temptation to drag them in a convoy. You were also required to use a 2 1/2 ton 6x6 truck to pull the gun. The Jeep rose to the occasion magnificently, everyone heard the salute, there were, thank God no misfires and I trundled back to the gun park.

On the way into the barracks the brigadier (read God) saw me and sent a provost to escort me to his office! I witnessed lots of screaming and don't you knows until he quietened down and asked me for an explanation. I pointed out that had I not done what I did there would be no salute, most of the city would have known with attendant publicity, whereas it seemes that only he, I and my gunners were aware of my transgression oh and a little old lady and her dog who happened to be near us when we were firing! I was told to get out.

Nowadays I would have need of counselling and a bipartisan board of enquiry! Anyway my hat off to the old Jeep the name which incidentally comes from GP meaning General Purpose vehicle!