• Thales’ Bushmasters are a major Australian export success story.
    Thales’ Bushmasters are a major Australian export success story. Defence

Updated 28 April 2020, 0910

Thales has signed a contract to export an additional six Bushmasters to the Netherlands.

The $14 million contract will involve more than 60 Australian businesses to design and deliver a new, bespoke Dutch medevac vehicle variant.

Long term Australian suppliers including Wollongong based Bisalloy Steels, AME Systems, Melbourne based DVR Engineering and KAB Seating in Dandenong will be joined by a 'substantial number' of additional Australian SMEs and Dutch company Visser Horti Systems, who specialise in the design of clinical white space capabilities for the RNLA.

The vehicles are scheduled for delivery in 2021. Five vehicles will be the new medevac variant and one will be an infantry mobility vehicle.

The Royal Netherlands Army now operates a fleet of almost 100 Bushmasters after an initial purchase of 25 vehicles as an urgent operational requirement in 2006. Additional vehicles were acquired between 2007 and 2016.

The vehicles have been in service within the Royal Netherlands Army for over 10 years, with a reportedly 'outstanding' operational record.

To date, 171 Bushmasters have been exported to seven countries: the Netherlands, Fiji, Japan, Jamaica, Indonesia, NZ and the UK.

“This recent order is a tribute to the skills and expertise not only in Thales’s Protected Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Bendigo, but in the Australian industry that are our critical partners in manufacturing this world class vehicle," Chris Jenkins, CEO, Thales Australia, said.

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