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Beefing up security


Volume 48, No. 12, July 13, 2006

BIG GUNS: The acquisition of 12 Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles is a major step forward for airfield defence. WGCDR John Leo, CO 2AFDS (rear atop vehicle) and LAC Chris Neutze are here with the only Bushmaster to have the Air Force roundel on the side.

Photo by AC Aaron Curran.

AIR Force has taken a major step forward in airfield defence with the acceptance of 12 Bushmasters.

Air Force accepted the Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles from ADI Ltd on June 29, significantly enhancing Airfield Defence Wing’s capability.

Commander Combat Support Group AIRCDRE Mark Gower accepted the Australian-designed and built vehicles at a short ceremony at RAAF Base Amberley.

AIRCDRE Gower said that the Bushmasters will provide the Airfield Defence Guards with an enhanced operational capability, as well as protecting them from mines and small arms.
“The Bushmaster combines exceptional performance, safety and comfort in a rugged off-road vehicle which excels over the most demanding terrain,” he said.

“The vehicles will be used by the Airfield Defence Wing to provide protected mobility for sections of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and significantly improved comfort for members in the rear of the vehicle.

“The QRF is a vital part of airfield defence operations. It provides a rapid response to threats against an airfield by mobile counter-attack. The advantages of using a QRF relate to its ability to rapidly manoeuvre while using firepower to suppress an enemy force, while providing protection for its members.

“The Airfield Defence Wing began its QRF operations using converted 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles. These vehicles provided significantly less protection and capability than what is being delivered here today.
“The Bushmaster vehicles will be deployed in a variety of roles and provide protected mobility in high threat environments. They will also offer increased operator comfort in warmer areas such as northern Australia, which will lead to increased survivability.”

Air Force’s Bushmasters have been specially modified by the incorporation of a 10th seat and third weapon mount. Six of the vehicles are to be issued to 2 and 3AFDS, with the other six assigned on loan to 1AFDS at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Air Force, DMO, Army and ADI Ltd were all involved in the acquisition.

Fast facts
Manufacturer: ADI.

Configuration: 4 x 4.

Weight: Combat mass
15,000kg. Unladen mass 11,300kg

ower-to-weight ration: 16kW/ton.

Dimensions: Overall length 7020mm, Width 2500mm, Height 2650mm, Track 2100mm, Wheelbase 3900mm, Turning circle 18.6m, Ground clearance 470mm.

Speed: Max speed >120km/hour, Cruise speed 110km/hour.

Fuel capacity: 385 litres.

Engine: Caterpillar 3126 ATAAC 6-cylinder, turbocharged and air-to-air aftercooled diesel developing 224kW (300HP) @ 2400rpm.

Max road range:>1000km.

Steering: Power steering.

Pax: 10 fully equipped personnel (Army model has nine seats).

Defensive suite: One set of high explosive/smoke grenade dischargers, two gun rings for 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine guns.

Transportable: Air transportable in C-130 and C-17.

 

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