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Thales Bushmaster

Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Wheeled Armored Vehicle [ 2004 ]

Introduced with Australian forces in 2004, over 1,000 of the Bushmaster MRAPs have been built since for the host country and several foreign buyers.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/04/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The turn of the century provided military industry with new battlefields that strayed away from conventional warfare. As such, manufacturers responded by aligning product offerings with the changing times to which Thales of Australia developed their "Bushmaster" series of Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMVs) to service infantry through an agile, robust platform capable of quick response and limited protection. Introduced in 1998, the series has gone on to be adopted by the forces of Australian, the Netherlands and others and has seen combat action in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere - proving its design sound. At the time of its inception, the Bushmaster marked the first military armored vehicle to be designed, developed and produced entirely in Australian since World War 2 (1939-1945).

At its core the Bushmaster features a fully-suspended, all-wheel drive design with high clearance promoting strong off-road capabilities. The system weighs 33,000 lb and sports an overall length of 7.1 meters, a width of 2.5 meters and a height of 2.7 meters. The standard operating crew is one with room for up to nine passengers who are protected from mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) (to an extent), small arms fire and artillery spray. The V-shaped hull is used to help deflect blasts coming from under the vehicle.

Power for the series is served through the Caterpillar 3126E 7.2L six-cylinder diesel-fueled engine fitting at front. This installation outputs 330 horsepower at 2,200rpm and is mated to a ZF 6HP502 ECOMAT G2 series transmission system. Maximum road speeds reach 100 kmh with ranges out to 800 kilometers.

As main armament, the Bushmaster is typically fitted with a heavy weapon system over the roof (this can also be a remote-controlled weapon station). Two other swing mounts are available for smaller-caliber weapons.

One of its key tactical features of the Bushmaster is its ability to be air-transported by Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" aircraft or similar.

As with any military vehicle of this class, the Bushmaster is not one single-role vehicle but a series of vehicles based on a standardized design. This is done as a cost-effective measure in having single model serve as the basis for others to cover multiple battlefield roles. As such, variants of the Bushmaster line include a dedicated Command Vehicle (CV), Air Defence Vehicle (ADV) and an Armored Ambulance (among others) - this showcases the flexibility of the Bushmaster vehicle which is also in service in civilian-minded forms.

The Australian Army originally placed an order for 370 of the type but this was eventually reduced to 299 units which arrived in 2005. However, more vehicle orders followed to bring the Australian inventory over 1,000. Australian Bushmasters were first featured (in prototype form) in East Timor actions before being deployed in Iraq. Then followed service in Afghanistan.

Netherlands is currently the second largest operator of the Bushmaster series, having acquired over 100 vehicles for service with Dutch Marines and Army personnel. The British Army procured two dozen systems in 2008 while Jamaica has taken on a dozen. Japan and Indonesia have ordered four and three vehicles respectively. There are potential sales reported to Libya and Spain while United Arab Emirates has evaluated the product.

The Bushmaster failed in its bid to join the American Army inventory as an MRAP in 2007 and was pulled from competing in a Canadian program. The French Army adopted a local solution over the Australian product.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

April 2022 - The nation of Australia has announced its intent to donate / deliver up to twenty Bushmaster APCs to Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russian aggression.

April 2022 - Deliveries of Australian Bushmasters began in the middle of the month to Ukraine. As many as twenty were being sent to the nation to bolster its defense against Russia.


Service Year

Australia national flag graphic


Thales Australia (ADI Limited) - Australia
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Australia National flag of Indonesia National flag of modern Japan National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United Kingdom Australia; Indonesia; Jamaica; Japan; Netherlands; Ukraine (announced); United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Designed to withstand attacks from mines and ambushes through specialized design and survivability features.
General utility-minded design to accomplish a variety of battlefield tasks, typically in a non-direct-combat fashion.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

Wheeled Arrangement
Wheeled arrangement gives this system an inherent road-running capability, enhancing mobility.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Shallow Glacis
The shallow design of the glacis plate provides the vehicle with inherent ballistics protection as well as contributes to a lower overall profile - making it more difficult to disable.
NBC Protection
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Smoke Screening
Vehicle has capability to self-generate a smoke screen, either through launched grenades or built-in engine funtion (raw fuel injection).
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
Anti-Aircraft / Air-Defense Capable
System is given an anti-aircraft defense component to protect itself from low-flying aerial threats at range.
Vehicle features an in-built anti-infantry capability for local defense of the vehicle or general troop suppression.
Troop Carrier
Vehicle (or its variants) has an inherent troop-carrying capability, providing protected cover for embarked allies in contested areas.
Vehicle's proven running gear and overall makeup lends itself well to fulfill other battlefield roles by way of specialized designs.

23.6 ft
7.2 m
8.2 ft
2.5 m
8.5 ft
2.6 m
27,558 lb
12,500 kg
13.8 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Thales Bushmaster production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Caterpillar 3126E 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel-fueled engine developing 330 horsepower at 2,200 rpm driving conventional 4x4 / all-wheeled arrangement.
62.1 mph
(100.0 kph)
497.1 mi
(800.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Thales Bushmaster production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
Variable: Typically 1 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) on roof (turret ring). Alternatively a 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG) is mounted instead. Personal weapons taken on by the crew or passengers also provide point defense.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun
Graphical image of the M3 Grease Gun submachine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon armament fit.

Bushmaster - Base Series Name.
Bushmaster APC - Standard troop carrier.
Bushmaster COM - Specialized COMmand vehicle.
Buasmaster AP - "Assault Pioneer" form.
Bushmaster AD - Air Defense version.
Bushmaster MOR - MORtar carrier.
Bushmaster DFW - "Direct Fire Weapons" variant.
Bushmaster AMB - Battlefield AMBulance variant.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Thales Bushmaster
Image from the ISAF HQ Public Affairs Office.
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Image of the Thales Bushmaster
Image from the Netherlands Ministry of Defense.

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