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New Zealand Army to introduce Bushmasters into service

The New Zealand Army's Bushmaster vehicles at the Trentham Military Camp located in Upper Hutt near Wellington. The Bushmaster vehicles are designed to transport infantry into a battlespace. (CPL Maddy Butcher/New Zealand Defence Force)

The New Zealand Army has laid out its plans to introduce Bushmaster 4×4 Protected Mobility Vehicles into service.

The army has procured 43 Bushmasters from Thales Australia – under a NZD102.9 million (USD62.3 million) contract signed in July 2020 – to replace the ageing armoured Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles (LOVs) that were introduced into service between 2004 and 2006.

The first batch of 18 Bushmasters was delivered to the New Zealand Army in May 2023.

Sarah Minson, deputy secretary for Capability Delivery at the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD), told Janes on 2 February that New Zealand received the remaining 25 Bushmasters in 2023 as well.

The Bushmaster vehicle fleet was delivered to New Zealand in batches in 2023, with the final batch arriving in August, Minson said.

The MoD is now focused on the introduction into service of the vehicles, crew training, and the procurement of communications and digital systems for the fleet, Minson added.

“A phased approach is being taken to introduce all 43 Bushmaster vehicles into service. The timing of the introduction for each vehicle is being planned according to requirements for the variant of the vehicle, as well as pre-existing New Zealand Army commitments, personnel availability, training requirements, and safety assurance,” she said.

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