Electro Optic Systems (EOS) has received a contract to refurbish and upgrade remote weapons systems (RWS) used on the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles (PMV).
Awarded by the Australian Defence Material Organisation’s land systems division (LSD), the $6.5m contract requires the company to modernise 45 EOS RWS, which will provide significant self-defence capability enhancements now and into the future.
PMV sustainment manager Luke Crampton said: "Improvements include upgraded sensors, a new Australian-designed stabilisation system that provides ‘shoot-on-the-move’ capability, video tracking, video recording and enhanced C4I integration support.
"These enhancements will bring the PMV’s upgraded RWS into line with EOS armoured vehicle turrets, used on tanks and other heavy armoured vehicles.
"Armoured vehicles turrets are typically 10 times more capable than the RWS and more costly; however, this upgrade means we get a similar capability for the Bushmaster at a much lower cost. It’s a win-win situation in terms of capability and value for money."
With the synchronisation of an upgrade to the RWS with post-operations refurbishment, LSD has claims to have achieved an estimated $2.3m saving in Commonwealth resources.
The initial 20 of the upgraded RWS, which are scheduled to be delivered to the 3rd Brigade by September of this year, will be used in an evaluation programme designed by the Australian Army to help determine future RWS requirements.
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.
The vehicle 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.
Apart from Australia, the vehicle is also in service with the Dutch, Jamaican and UK armies.
Image: Two Australian Army Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles during an exercise at Dingo Area at Townsville Training Area, Australia. Photo: courtesy of US Marine Corps photo by lance corporal Jody Lee Smith.