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.”
Over 200 jobs have now been secured thanks to a $160m contract to extend the production of Bushmasters for our ADF
— Pat Conroy MP (@PatConroy1) May 17, 2023
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.
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.