New Zealand marked the arrival of the first 18 out of a total of 43 Australian-designed Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles for the New Zealand Army.
Defense Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand Army personnel celebrated the delivery of the first batch of Bushmasters at Trentham Military Camp on May 25.
Since December 2017, the government has allocated over $4.5 billion to 12 defense capability projects, with $102.9 million specifically designated for the Bushmaster fleet that will replace the New Zealand Army’s ageing armored Pinzgauers.
The Bushmaster fleet, with specific design modifications for New Zealand Army, comprises five distinct variants that fulfil a range of tasks, such as serving as mobile communication and command hubs, troop transport vehicles, and protected ambulances.
They also introduce upgraded networking and communication technologies, enabling more efficient and extended-range communication among the vehicles and other deployed assets.
The Bushmaster vehicles are engineered with a V hull design, which redirects blasts out from under the vehicle, saving lives. With a weight of 11 tons and a 5-tonne payload capacity, these machines stand at a height of 2,650mm, stretch to a length of 7,180mm, and measure 2,480mm in width.
Equipped with a 319-liter fuel capacity and a 4×4 power-assisted steering system, the Bushmasters can reach a maximum speed of 100 km/h. They are capable of accommodating up to 10 personnel.
“The arrival of the Bushmaster fleet represents a significant uplift in capability and protection for defence force personnel, and a milestone in the Government’s historic investment in our defence kit,” Defence Minister Andrew Little said.
“Bushmaster vehicles carry more troops than the armored Pinzgauer and offer greater blast and ballistic protection to personnel,” he added.
Throughout 2023, the remaining Bushmaster vehicles will arrive in batches, undergoing testing and certification at Trentham Military Camp before being deployed to their home bases.