Australia — More Bushmasters for Afghanistan

The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment has approved the pur­chase of an addi­tion­al 101 Bush­mas­ter pro­tect­ed mobil­i­ty vehi­cles to sup­port Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) oper­a­tions in Afghanistan.

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the pur­chase today. 

The Bush­mas­ter has proven to be a most effec­tive com­bat vehi­cle, pro­vid­ing Aus­tralian troops with mobil­i­ty and pro­tec­tion, includ­ing against Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices. 

It has unques­tion­ably saved lives in Afghanistan. 

The pur­chase pro­vides for oper­a­tional attrition. 

31 Bush­mas­ters have been dam­aged beyond repair in recent years and their replace­ment with a fur­ther 70 vehi­cles will sup­port cur­rent and future operations. 

Defence will also eval­u­ate a range of enhance­ments to the Bush­mas­ter vehi­cle to increase the lev­el of pro­tec­tion it pro­vides to ADF personnel. 

If these enhance­ments are viable they may be applied to the 101 vehicles. 

The pur­chase of the Bush­mas­ters is sub­ject to the sat­is­fac­to­ry nego­ti­a­tion of a con­tract with accept­able terms and con­di­tions includ­ing in rela­tion to per­for­mance, cost and schedule. 

Details of costs will be released on final­i­sa­tion of con­tract details. 

Under stand­ing arrange­ments, Defence will be sup­ple­ment­ed for the cost of Bush­mas­ters dam­aged on oper­a­tions, with the remain­der to be fund­ed from the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan. 

Media Note:
Vision of Bush­mas­ters will be fed direct to Par­lia­ment House in Canberra. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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