A dozen life-saving Bushmasters are going into production in Bendigo for export to the Netherlands, after the country’s Ministry of Defence ordered new vehicles from Thales in Australia.
The vehicles will complement the 86 Bushmasters previously purchased by the Dutch customer between 2006 and 2009, and will be delivered by the middle of 2016.
Chris Jenkins, CEO Thales in Australia said: “The Bushmaster has proven itself on operations with the Dutch military in Afghanistan, and is a vital component of their Light Brigade. This export order shows the Army’s continuing confidence in the Bushmaster and its ability to protect troops in theatre. The Bushmaster vehicle has repeatedly proven to safeguard personnel against mines and improvised explosive devices”.
The troop carrier variants will be fitted with additional composite armour, Remote Weapon Stations, and Thales’s market-leading SOTAS intercom system.
This contract, whose value remains confidential, follows other Bushmaster exports to Japan and Jamaica over the past 18 months, as well as other SOTAS exports to various countries worldwide.