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New Zealand Army inducts first batch of Bushmasters

The New Zealand Army has received the first batch of 18 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles from Thales Australia. The above picture shows a Bushmaster in service with the Australian Army. (Australian Department of Defence)

The New Zealand Army has inducted the first batch of Bushmaster 4ร—4 Protected Mobility Vehicles at the Trentham Military Camp located in Upper Hutt near Wellington.

According to a press release by New Zealand's Defence Minister Andrew Little, the army has received 18 Bushmasters.

In July 2020 New Zealand approved the procurement of 43 Bushmasters from Thales Australia to replace the army's ageing armoured Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles (LOVs). The contract was worth NZD102.9 million (USD62 million).

โ€œThe remainder of the Bushmaster vehicles will arrive in batches throughout 2023. They are being tested and certified for use at Trentham Military Camp, before being sent to their home bases,โ€ Little said.

Little said the arrival of the first batch of the Bushmaster fleet represents an uplift in capability and protection for defence force personnel.

The Bushmaster vehicles can carry more troops and provide better blast and ballistic protection than armoured Pinzgauer vehicles, Little added.

โ€œThis Bushmaster fleet was designed specifically for our use. It comes in five different variants to carry out a range of tasks, including mobile communications and command hubs, troop transport, and protected ambulances,โ€ he said.

โ€œOur soldiers operate in a variety of challenging situations. The Bushmasters are multi-purpose vehicles that will boost their ability to help communities here in New Zealand, the Pacific, and overseas โ€“ whether they are on peace and security missions, search and rescue, or natural disaster operations,โ€ he added.

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