August 27, 2009:
The Netherlands have ordered another 14 Australian made Bushmaster armored trucks, giving them a total of 76. Three years ago, the Netherlands made its first purchase, of 25 Bushmaster armored trucks. These were for its troops in Afghanistan.
Costing $1.3 million each, the Bushmaster is based on a South African design concept, with a V shaped underside, to deflect mine and bomb blast. The 4x4, 15 ton vehicle has a crew of two and carries eight troops in an armored box. The vehicle is protected against 12.7mm machine-gun bullets, and bombs and mines containing up to 21 pounds of explosives. Reactive armor can be added for protection from RPGs. The vehicle has a top road speed of 125 kilometers an hour and a max road range of 1,000 kilometers. Lots of bulletproof glass is used, and in the troops compartment, there are firing ports under the windows. The vehicle carries a gun ring, on a hatch near the front of the crew compartment, that can mount a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine-gun. The vehicle is a comfortable ride. The Australian army has bought over 300 Bushmasters, and the vehicles are popular with the troops. Many of the Netherlands Bushmasters have a remote (from inside the vehicle) control machine-gun turret.
The Netherlands was so pleased with their initial Bushmaster order, that they quickly ordered more, then more, and more. Apparently, the Bushmaster does the job.