Bushmasters cross the ditch to NZ


The first of an order for 43 Thales Bushmaster protected vehicles has arrived across the Tasman in an order for the New Zealand Army.

The first 18 Bushmaster 5.5 vehicles which were developed and manufactured in Bendigo, Victoria arrived in NZ where they are replacing outdated Pinzgauer military utility vehicles.

According to the Army, the Bushmaster vehicles, designed with a V hull which redirects blasts out from under the vehicle, will provide personnel with high levels of blast and ballistic protection.

“This Bushmaster fleet was designed specifically for our use.

“It comes in five different variants, which will be able to carry out a range of tasks, including mobile communications and command hubs, troop transport, and protected ambulances.

“They also introduce improved networking and communications technologies between the vehicles themselves, and other assets deployed in the field, allowing for more efficient communication over greater distances.”

NZ Defence Minister Andrew Little said the Bushmaster vehicles carried more troops than the Pinzgauer and offered greater protection to personnel.

Little said: “Our soldiers operate in a variety of challenging situations. The Bushmasters are multipurpose vehicles that will boost their ability to help communities here in New Zealand, the Pacific, and overseas, whether they are on peace and security missions, search and rescue, or natural disaster operations.”

Bushmasters are in service with numerous forces overseas, have seen service in Afghanistan, and most recently were gifted by Australia to Ukraine for use in their fight against Russian invasion.

In May Australia ordered new Bushmasters worth $160 million for the Australian Army.

Further reading:
More Bushmasters bound for Ukraine
Canberra orders $160m in new Bushmasters
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of the Thales Bushmaster here.

Picture: New Zealand Army

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