Published on April 23rd 2018 in

Commercial Performance Coatings adds Hawkei to growing portfolio

PPG’s Clayton, Victoria, production plant recently welcomed a special visit from ‘Hawkei’. Not to be confused with the ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce character from the seventies TV show, MASH, this rugged 4X4 vehicle is actually the next generation ‘light protected vehicle’ for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Named after a species of death adder (Acanthophis hawkei) found in Queensland, it is designed and built in Australia by Thales (a global leader for aerospace, transport, defence and security markets) at the company’s manufacturing facility in Bendigo, Victoria. Replacing the ADF’s aging Land Rover vehicles, Hawkei is aimed at filling roles, such as troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Already a key supplier partner on the previous Bushmaster vehicle project, PPG’s Commercial Performance Coatings team has worked closely with Thales since the inception of the Hawkei project in 2009. This has seen PPG appointed to supply all the coatings (including an APAS approved primer and range of camouflage colours) designed to not only protect the vehicle’s structure but also make it more difficult to detect in a conflict situation.

All these products from the Commercial Performance Coatings portfolio are manufactured at PPG Clayton so the recent visit was to thank PPG production staff for their efforts. Thales staff made a series of presentations about the Hawkei project and, throughout the day, PPG staff had the opportunity to take a close look at the results of their products in action, says Chris Davis, Business Director Commercial Performance Coatings.

“We are proud to say that 100 percent of these Commercial Performance Coatings products are manufactured in Australia so, like Thales, PPG is making a commitment to local technology, manufacturing and employment. The Hawkei project has really showcased the exceptional capabilities of the local Commercial Performance Coatings team and the dedicated production staff at the Clayton facility. Indeed, it is the remarkable level of commitment with which our team supports all our customers, large and small, that is helping to develop the Commercial Performance Coatings brand across Australia and New Zealand.” - Chris Davis

Ultimately, the Hawkei project will see the delivery of 1,100 vehicles and over 1,000 trailers which are set to be manufactured over a 3.5-year production phase.

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