The Australian Ministry of Defence has unveiled an electric Protected Military Vehicle (ePMV), also called an ‘electric Bushmaster’, to strengthen its armed forces. 

The ePMV was put on display at the three-day Chief of Army Symposium. The event was organised to encourage innovation and collaboration between Australian-led technology and industry sectors.

Australian Defence Assistant Minister Matt Thistlethwaite said the ePMV supports the Army’s efforts to become ‘future ready’.

The minister said: “We have seen great success with Australian designed and built vehicles keeping personnel safe under fire and the new ePMV represents the next innovative stage in that tradition.

“This ePMV brings the benefits of electric vehicles to the battlefield, particularly being quieter than its combustion counterparts, and I look forward to seeing it perform in field trials.”

The Chief of Army Symposium featured Army Innovation Day, the Army Future Forum, the Army Robotics Exposition, and the Army Quantum Technology Challenge.

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The event saw the participation of industry, academia, and Australian Defence Force (ADF) representatives.

According to Thistlethwaite, the advanced technologies introduced at the event will support ADF personnel with enhanced defence capabilities.

He said: “As we are seeing around the world today, modern military personnel are joined on their missions by machines.

“This symposium enables [the] Army to work with industry to explore new and emerging technologies.”

“It is vital we support the exploration and development of these technologies, creating innovative advantages for the Australian Defence Force while supporting Australian industry and jobs.”

In February 2021, the Government of Australia awarded ten Defence Innovation Hub contracts, worth A$21m ($16.07m), to support the development of new technologies for the ADF.