Bushmaster upgrades approved
By: Charbel Kadib
The Commonwealth government has approved an upgrade of the Australian Army’s existing fleet of Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles as part of the $75 million Land Force Level Electronic Warfare Project.
The project, which forms part of Project Land 555 Phase 6, involves integrating the vehicles with electronic warfare (EW) systems, designed to enable monitoring, and controlling of the electronic environment while also undermining the electronic systems of adversaries.
Local industry is expected to help supply material, and deliver training and maintenance support, with the project tipped to generate $46 million for Australia’s sovereign defence industrial base.
“The government is committed to increasing the ADF’s ability to operate and fight in complex electromagnetic environments,” Minister Conroy said.
“This new capability will give our Land Force a better range of options to continue to pursue our interests in our region and deter, defeat and deny attacks and threats against Australia.
“The project will complement air and maritime force level electronic warfare systems, further enhancing these capabilities when deployed in combination as a Joint Force.”
The Bushmaster is billed as an 11-tonne, 4×4 protected vehicle with a four-tonne payload, designed to perform across a range of mission profiles.
The platform has several variants, which include troop carrier, command, patrol, support, weapons deployment and ambulance functions.
The Bushmasters can reportedly carry 10 personnel, supported by blast and ballistic protection and off-road mobility.
The vehicles are in service with several countries on four continents, including Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Ukrainian armed forces have also accepted Bushmasters into service to support their resistance to Russian aggression.
Earlier this month, the Commonwealth government committed $99.5 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine, including the delivery of 20 Bushmaster vehicles.
These were in addition to the vehicles pledged by former prime minister Scott Morrison ahead of the federal election — taking Australia’s total contribution of Bushmasters to 60.