Thales Australia has been awarded a contract for the supply of Bushmaster protected-mobility vehicles (PMV) to the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF).
The agreement, awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Defence through Thales Japan, covers the delivery of four Bushmaster troop-carrier variants.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the order demonstrates the ‘ongoing significance and versatility’ of the Bushmaster vehicle.
"With effective operational deployment across Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bushmaster has proven its effectiveness across urban landscapes, as well as mountainous regions, making it uniquely suited to Japan’s geographic and urban environments," Jenkins said.
"Our aim is to be customer focused and to offer Thales Group’s seamless and convenient services and technologies to our customers in Japan."
Acquired at a cost of JPY200m ($1.9m) each, the vehicles will be used for overseas transport operations for natural or man-made emergencies, IHS Jane’s reports, citing an unnamed Japanese MoD official.
Powered by a Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC turbocharged engine, the Bushmaster is a 4×4 armoured vehicle designed for a range of uses, including troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command for deployment in combat and support missions.
It can be transported by air by the C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III and Mil Mi-26 aircraft, and can carry up to nine soldiers and their equipment, fuel and supplies for three days, depending on the type.
The vehicle is currently in service with the Australian, Dutch, Jamaican and UK armies.
Manufacturing work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s facility in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, while deliveries are scheduled to start in late 2014.
Image: A Dutch Army Bushmaster vehicle in Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office from Kabul, Afghanistan.