Thales to upgrade weapons on Australian Army's Bushmaster armoured vehicles

Thales Australia has been contracted to upgrade weapon systems on the Royal Australian Army's Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has announced.

Valued at A$11.2m ($8.34m), the contract requires the company to upgrade 40 protected weapon systems (PWS).

The contract follows the successful upgrade of 45 PWS deployed on Bushmasters, said Pyne.

Work under the upgrade includes an addition of a new Australian-designed stabilisation system with the potential to improve accuracy when firing from a Bushmaster.

The PWS is a fully integrated remote weapon and battlefield surveillance capability that has been used by Australian soldiers in operations, since 2008.

It comprises an upgraded remote weapon station designed by Australian company Electro Optic Systems and a vehicle integration kit designed by Thales Australia.

"This contract is another example of Australian industry improving capability and the safety of our soldiers."

Pyne added: “The work will be undertaken by the experienced workforce at Thales Australia's support facility in Brisbane, supporting three jobs and the Electro Optic Systems facility in Queanbeyan, supporting 50 jobs.

“This contract is another example of Australian industry improving capability and the safety of our soldiers.”

The 4x4 Bushmaster protected vehicle has been designed to perform a wide range of operations.

Available in troop carrier, command, patrol, support, weapons deployment and ambulance variants, Bushmaster combines high levels of blast and ballistic protection with off-road mobility, according to Thales.

The vehicle has been successfully deployed by three armies in a number of regions, including the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific.

Image: Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Hpeterswald.