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Australia orders Buschmaster protected vehicles from Thales

Source: Thales, Defence Industry Europe

Australia has signed a contract for 78 Bushmaster protected vehicles for 160 million Australian dollars ($106 million) in order to replenish stockpiles sent to Ukraine for its conflict with Russia. The agreement was signed at Thales' facility in Bendigo, with deliveries of the Bushmasters in troop carrier and command variants scheduled over the next 18 months.

Thales Australia CEO Jeff Connolly emphasised the strategic importance of this acquisition for the Australian Defence Force. He stated, “Today’s contract signing is an important expression of support from the government, not just for the Bushmaster vehicle, but also for the manufacturing capability and Australian supply chain that produces and sustains the vehicles.”

 

 

The Bushmaster, designed by Thales, is a highly capable 4×4 wheeled vehicle known for its exceptional blast and ballistic protection, as well as excellent off-road mobility. It has a carrying capacity of up to 10 military personnel and can transport a payload of up to four tonnes (4,000 kilograms/8,000 pounds). With a top speed exceeding 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour and an operational range of 800 kilometres (497 miles), the Bushmaster is a versatile asset. It is armed with 5.56- and 7.62-millimetre machine guns to support combat missions.

According to Connolly, over 1,200 Bushmasters have already been produced at the Bendigo facility and have proven to be life-saving for the Australian Army, particularly in their operations in the Middle East.




In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Australia has already provided 90 Bushmaster vehicles for troop transport. These vehicles have become crucial assets for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in countering Moscow’s troops. The Ukrainian defence ministry expressed their appreciation, stating, “Our soldiers absolutely love Australian Bushmasters. But now they have a new crush: the Hawkei,” referring to another military vehicle produced by Thales.

While Australian defence industry minister Pat Conroy did not confirm whether they would fulfil Ukraine’s request for the Hawkei vehicles, he emphasised that Australia remains committed to delivering on their existing commitments.

 

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