New Zealand orders Bendigo manufactured Bushmasters

The New Zealand Army is to purchase Bushmaster armoured vehicles developed and manufactured by French Thales Group in Bendigo.

Thales will supply 43 Bushmasters in a deal worth $75 million.

Bushmaster is a heavy 11-tonne, 4×4 protected vehicle with a 4-tonne payload and a V-hull design which deflects explosions away from the passenger cabin.

The Bushmaster has been a domestic and export success, famously in service in Afghanistan and other theatres and never suffering a soldier fatality despite the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Thales describes the vehicle as a battle-proven, lifesaving, versatile and highly mobile vehicle that will bring a new level of capability and interoperability to the New Zealand Army.

Manufacture will involve more than 50 Australian businesses to deliver five variants of the vehicle.

In April @AuMaufacturing reported on new ambulance versions of the Bushmaster and new export orders to the Netgherlands.

The New Zealand Special Operations Forces currently operate a small fleet of Bushmaster vehicles.

Thales said in a statement: “This order is a tribute to the skills and expertise in Thales’s Protected Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Bendigo and in the Australian industry that are our critical partners in manufacturing this world class vehicle.”

Bushmasters have been exported to seven countries including the Netherlands, Fiji, Japan, Jamaica, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Picture: Thales Bushmaster

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