Mr Peter Lindsay MP,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

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23 Feb 2007



The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Federal Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay MP, today presided over the handover of the Army's new Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle to 3rd Brigade at Lavarack Barracks.


“The arrival of the Bushmaster at Lavarack Barracks underlines the importance of Townsville as one of Australia's major garrison cities,” Mr Lindsay said.


“By delivering this latest new kit to the 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment, the Australian Government continues to ensure 3rd Brigade has the equipment needed to carry out the tasks asked of it.


"The Bushmaster has already acquitted itself well in Iraq and Afghanistan since it was first deployed in support of ADF operations in 2005. It has proven to be a highly relevant and capable vehicle.


“Deliveries of the Bushmaster capability commenced to B Squadron on 7 December 2006 and will be complete by 4 July 2007. B Squadron will receive troop, command, direct fire weapons and ambulance variants.”


The issuing of Bushmaster to 3rd Brigade is a continuation of the successful rollout plan of 300 vehicles. To date, Thales Australia has achieved delivery of the vehicles, on time and on budget, after signing a production contract in 2002. An enhanced acquisition process and close cooperation between the Australian Government and Australian Industry has resulted in a world class product for the Australia Army and RAAF, and has received international interest in its capability and performance. The purchase of an additional 143 vehicles was approved by Government in December 2006, which is due for completion in 2008.


The Bushmaster was designed to provide protected mobility to selected Army units and RAAF Airfield Defence Squadrons. The Bushmaster is currently deployed on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where it has proven to be a highly relevant and capable vehicle.


The protection level of the Bushmaster is being further enhanced through the rapid acquisition of 44 Protected Weapon Stations (approved by Government in July 2006) and the investigation of armour protection enhancements. This station provides an excellent surveillance capability and allows the soldier to observe and fire the Bushmaster machine gun from under armour, in all weather conditions and at night. The first stations will be fielded on operations by the end of February 2007 and the remainder by March 2007.



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