In August 2004, a new vehicle entered the combat zone and would quickly establish itself as King - a safe-haven for its passengers. It was called the Bushmaster.
Designed and built in one of the Thales sites called Bendigo in Australia, the 14 tonne Medium Protected Mobility Vehicle has a range of over 800km and can carry 10 battle ready troops in and out of the action. Its unique V-shaped hull was specifically designed to disperse the blast from the new adversary- the IEDs, creating a safe space for its passengers in the event of an explosion.
Australian troops began using it on operations and immediately it earned their trust. It was hit time and time again by IEDs, but not one soldier died. Day after day it carried its troops outside the wire, never faltering, never failing, and never quitting.
The Bushmaster proved to be so popular amongst the Australian troops and so successful at keeping its occupants alive, orders came into Thales from Europe: the Dutch and the UK MoD. Over 1100 have been built since then and have conquered the hard realities of the modern battlefield on different continents.
This extra protection and increased mobility opened up allied operations, allowing them to transit to and from target points with a higher degree of safety.
Capitalising on the mobile safe-haven the troop carrier offered the allies, Thales began working on different variants to suit current and future operations. Troop, command, mortar, assault pioneer, direct fire weapon, ambulance and air defence configurations, all of which served in operations with distinction.
Since its entry into service in Iraq in August 2004 and Afghanistan in April 2005, orders for Bushmaster have continued to come in with eight defence forces across the world now using Bushmaster, including Australia, the Netherlands, UK, Japan, Jamaica, Indonesia, Fiji and New Zealand. Modern variants, including the new MR6 and Electronic Warfare based models are still being sought after by foreign defence departments.
Next Generation Protected Vehicle
Thales is delivering a new generation of protected vehicles. Hawkei meets the requirements of global defence forces for a highly protected, mobile and integrated vehicle able to operate in an environment under threat from Improvised Explosive Devices, mines and ambushes.
- Hawkei is a 7-tonne, 4x4, new generation protected vehicle with a 3-tonne payload, designed to meet the demanding requirements of land forces world-wide.
- Hawkei delivers class-leading protection, mobility and payload with unparalleled levels of blast and ballistic protection for a helicopter transportable vehicle.
- Highly effective across a diverse range of mission profiles. Roles include troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, liaison, surveillance and reconnaissance.