PHOTO]. These will be the
improved models, that include a remotely controlled (from inside the vehicle)
machine-gun turret. There are also several improvements in crew protection, and
a new cooling system for the drinking water supply. The Dutch received 25
Bushmasters fifteen months ago, and have been pleased with their performance.
The ten additional vehicles will also replace losses in Afghanistan (two
Bushmasters that were destroyed, two heavily damaged, and another armored
vehicles that was destroyed.)
Army has ordered another ten Bushmaster armored trucks [
Early models cost about $1.3
million each, but the new order will be a little under a million dollars per
vehicle. The Bushmaster is made in Australia and 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 what amounts
to an armored box. The vehicle is protected against 12.7mm machine-gun bullets,
and bombs and mines containing up to 21 pounds of explosives. 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 troop 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. This is normally replaced by the remote control turret. The
vehicle is a comfortable ride. The Australian army already has nearly 700
Bushmasters, and the vehicles are popular with the troops.
The Bushmaster was briefly
considered as part of the U.S. MRAP program, but was withdrawn when the U.S.
insisted that all its MRAPs have side doors for passengers.