The Netherlands Government has signed an in-service support contract with Thales for the support of the Dutch Army’s fleet of Bushmaster armoured vehicles.

The six-year support contract includes the transfer of technology from Australia to the Van Halteren Metaal (VHM) headquarters in the Netherlands, developing long-term expertise in maintenance of the vehicles.

Thales will operate as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), using VHM’s expertise in hands-on maintenance services to ensure increased availability and value for money for the government.

Thales Vehicles and Tactical Systems vice-president Pierre Bénard said: “There is a long history of trust between the Netherlands and Thales.

“The collaboration between VHM and Thales will ensure the delivery of preventative maintenance, local repair, and modification capabilities for the Dutch government.”

“Ten years ago we built the best tactical platform to meet the Dutch Army’s ambitions around the world. Thales continually invests and innovates in future technologies to meet the challenge of evolving battlefield threats and to maintain the Bushmaster at state of the art.”

The collaboration between VHM and Thales will ensure the delivery of preventative maintenance, local repair, and modification capabilities for the Dutch government.

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As part of the project, Thales and the Netherlands Material Logistic Command culminated a collaborative process to design the long-term in-service support contract and offer increased availability for the fleet.

Bushmaster armoured vehicles have been in service with the Dutch Army for more than ten years.

With a 4t payload, the Bushmaster is a 4×4 protected vehicle that has been developed to carry out a wide range of operations.

The 11t vehicle has been built with the capability to protect up to ten occupants, providing high levels of blast and ballistic protection with enhanced off-road mobility.