The Hon. Bruce Billson, MP
Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence
HAND OVER OF BUSHMASTER VEHICLE TO DEFENCE
Facing tough challenges in tough environments demands world class equipment, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Bruce Billson, said today at the official hand over to the Defence Materiel Organisation of the Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle from ADI Limited in Bendigo.
"The Bushmaster vehicle has received widespread acclaim among Australian Army soldiers on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and has received significant international interest in its capability," Mr Billson said.
"A production contract was signed in July 2002 with ADI Limited for the provision of Bushmaster vehicles. ADI Limited has now achieved delivery, on time and on budget, of a world class vehicle with capabilities unmatched by any comparable vehicle in operation anywhere in the world today.
"The hand over ceremony at the ADI’s production facility in Bendigo marked the last of the 152 Bushmaster Troop Variants to come off the assembly line.
"The Bushmaster provides anti-vehicle and small arms protection and is the first Australian-designed and developed armoured vehicle to be selected for the Australian Army since WWII," Mr Billson said.
"Bushmaster also provides exceptional mobility to Australian forces and carries three days’ supplies for extended operations, with a range of 600-800 kilometres dependent on terrain."
The Troop Variant is the common vehicle of the Bushmaster fleet and forms the base for all other variants including:
"The delivery of the last Troop Variant is a significant milestone for Defence and Australian Industry. This partnering with industry has created a world class product for the Australian Army, provided significant employment opportunities throughout Australia and has demonstrated an enhanced acquisition process and close cooperation between the Australian Government and Australian Industry," Mr Billson said.
Shane Fairlie 0408 680 442
Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664