Specialist steel maker Bisalloy will provide armour for new 4×4 military vehicles to be built for the Australian Defence Force.

The 7-tonne Hawkei protected mobility vehicle will replace the Australian army’s fleet of Land Rovers with unparalleled blast protection and increased agility. All will be made with Bisalloy steel produced in Wollongong, NSW.

Shares in the $32 million steel manufacturer were trading at 74c on Tuesday, at the top of their 52-week trading range.

“Using Bisalloy’s armour grade steels, the Hawkei will provide a high level of protection against blast and ballistic threats, with significantly improved mobility,”Bisalloy (ASX:BIS) business manager Justin Suwart said.

“The Hawkei is yet another example of where Bisalloy represents the high quality of Australian manufacturing and products on the world stage. This vehicle showcases the high quality Australian-made armour steel Bisalloy produces.

“We are very proud to know that our troops will be protected by the steel we make in Wollongong, and we are pleased to work with companies like Thales who are protecting Australia’s fighting forces.”


Bisalloy steel will be used in 1100 of the Hawkei vehicles, which have a capacity of six soldiers for use in command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles.

The vehicles, built by heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer Thales, will support a remotely controlled weapon station primarily for use with light and medium weapons but accommodating weapons from 5.56mm machine guns to anti-tank missiles.

““For 25 years, the Bisalloy story has been one of working in partnership with Australian steel producers, defence scientists and engineers, international organisations and manufacturers of military vessels and vehicles to produce what we believe are some of the best armour plate products in the world,” director Greg Albert said.

First vehicles have commenced production, with steel shipped to Israel for production and back to Australia for assembly.

Defence spending in the 2017-18 budget had forward estimates in the realm of $150.6 billion in what treasurer Scott Morrison described as the “biggest recapitalisation of our defence forces that we have seen since World War II”.

Bisalloy’s protection steel range supplies similar grades for sea patrol vehicles and submarines.

Bisalloy made a $1.75 million profit last year and had $4 million in the bank at the end of June.