The Australian Army has unveiled a battery-powered Bushmaster armored vehicle that will serve as the basis of the service’s electric Protected Military Vehicle (ePMV).
Assistant defense minister Matt Thistlethwaite introduced the vehicle at the Chief of Army Symposium in Sydney, saying the ePMV was a key part of the army’s efforts to become “future ready.”
“We have seen great success with Australian designed and built vehicles keeping personnel safe under fire and the new ePMV represents the next innovative stage in that tradition,” assistant minister Thistlethwaite said.
“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.”
Thistlethwaite further said the three day event would bring together Australian-led technology, industry partnerships and innovation to provide an opportunity for everyone to get hands-on with the latest technology to support the ‘future ready’ army.
Not much in terms of technical specifications was revealed about the electric Bushmaster. However, images of the new vehicle indicate that the batteries were developed and supplied by 3ME Technology, an Australian heavy-vehicle battery manufacturer designing and producing energy-dense, lithium-ion battery systems to power mining and military electric vehicles. The Australian Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation & Coordination Office (RICO) is also involved in the development of the vehicle.
The ePMV is based on the Bushmaster vehicle that was built in Australia to provide protected mobility transport, safely moving soldiers to a battle area prior to dismounting for close combat. The 11-ton, 4×4 blast and ballistic protected mobility vehicle with a 4-ton payload provides protection against mines and improvised explosive devices, shrapnel from artillery and small arms fire.
Prior to unveiling the electric variant of the vehicle, Australia’s defense ministry disclosed it is investing nearly A$75 million (approx. US$51M) in electronic warfare system upgrades for the vehicle fleet.
Project Land 555 Phase 6 will see Raytheon Australia modify existing Bushmasters to allow them to monitor and control the electronic environment and, where necessary, deny or degrade the electronic systems of adversaries.