Bushmaster goes electric: Australia unveils silent, electrified personnel vehicle
The Australian defence force is going green – and we’re not talking about a new shade of camouflage paint. We’re talking about the electrification of its famous Bushmaster protected military vehicle.
An all-electric Protected Military Vehicle (ePMV) concept was unveiled at the Chief of Army Symposium in Adelaide on Wednesday, as part of a showcase looking at how the defence force will become “future ready.”
Powered by a battery giving a maximum all-electric range of 100km, the ePMV can also be built with a larger battery giving up to 300km range.
The all-electric version will be trialled to explore suitability and other factors, but the ePMV is expected to enter the field eventually employing a hybrid electric drive for 140kW power and 480Nm continuous torque, with a diesel engine that acts as a range extender.
The addition of a battery gives the vehicle an additional “super power” in the field and reduces the dependence on fossil fuel logistics: that, of course is the ability to operate in the field completely silently, at least when the diesel engine is not fired up.
The 11-ton, 4×4 blast and ballistic protected mobility vehicle has a 4-ton payload and provides protection against mines and improvised explosive devices, shrapnel from artillery and small arms fire.
When in the field, the Bushmaster’s optimised power management system can offer 24-36 hours of silent watch when operating with battery power only.
In a statement shared by the department of defence, assistant minister Matt Thistlethwaite said that “the new ePMV represents the next innovative stage in that tradition.”
The Bushmaster ePMV will be used in trials to determine its suitability in the field.
“This ePMV brings the benefits of electric vehicles to the battlefield, particularly being quieter than its combustion counterparts, and I look forward to seeing it perform in field trials,” he said.