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$1.3bn army vehicle fleet acquired
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Judgment in on ASIC application against Aussie firm:

$1.3bn army vehicle fleet acquired

Sarah Ross-Smith, Ashurst

The Turnbull Government has entered its first major defence contract, with the army set to replace its ageing vehicle fleet with more than 1,100 Hawkeis.

Firms: Ashurst (Department of Defence); In-house counsel (Thales Australia)

Deal: Thales Australia will manufacture 1,100 Hawkeis for the army.

Value: $1.3 billion

Area: M&A

Key players: The Ashurst team was led by partner Sarah Ross-Smith, who was assisted by partners Rehana Box and Steve McKinney, and senior associate Toby Mittelman.

Deal significance: The army has acquired 1,100 Hawkei vehicles valued at $1.3 billion to replace its ageing Land Rover fleet. The light protected mobility vehicles will be manufactured by Thales Australia at its Bendigo facility.

The deal was finalised on Monday 5 October following a six-year-long evaluation and negotiation process.

Defence Minister Marise Payne and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were both in attendance, as it is the first major defence contract entered into by the Turnbull Government.

Ashurst lead partner Sarah Ross-Smith said: “Ashurst's long-standing engagement [with] Defence in relation to this matter has given us the opportunity to be involved in each stage of the procurement process over six years.”

She continued: “It has been a real career highlight for many of our team to have assisted Defence in another of its major procurement projects, which will help to ensure that our service men and women have access to the latest technology, which could potentially save lives.”

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