The Australian Government has given approval for the purchase of an additional 101 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Stephen Smith has said.

The Defence Ministry is also assessing a range of enhancements to the Bushmaster vehicle for providing enhanced protection to ADF personnel which, if approved, would be applied to the additional 101 vehicles.

The financial details will be disclosed upon finalisation of the contract, until then the cost of damaged Bushmasters will be supplemented by defence with the remainder from the Defence Capability Plan.

The Bushmaster combat vehicle has proved to be effective in providing protection to Australian troops against improvised explosive devices.