The New Zealand Army will place an order for 43 Bushmaster NZ5.5 armored vehicles manufactured by Thales Australia.
The deal is worth around $102.9 million. The funding will deliver the vehicles, along with training, a desk top simulator, support equipment and infrastructure upgrades at Linton Camp.
On July 8, Defense Minister Ron Mark announced that the government approved the purchase of these vehicles to replace the Army’s armoured Pinzgauers. “The need to replace the Army’s fleet of land vehicles was outlined in last year’s Defense Capability Plan, with the armoured Pinzgauer highlighted as a vehicle type reaching the end of its operational life and prioritised for replacement,” Mark said in a statement.
“This is the second fleet of protected mobility vehicles approved for purchase by the Government. It follows delivery this year of the Polaris MRZR fleet of side by side all-terrain vehicles that were announced last year to replace the quad bikes and other small vehicles used by the New Zealand Army,” the minister added.
Deliveries are expected to commence in late 2022 with the full fleet beginning operational introduction from late 2023.
According to Thales, Bushmaster is an 11-tonne, 4x4 protected vehicle with a 4-tonne payload, designed to perform a diverse range of mission profiles. Variants include troop carrier, command, patrol, support, weapons deployment and ambulance. It designed and built to protect up to 10 occupants, combining high levels of blast and ballistic protection with excellent off-road mobility.