The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle has been in the headlines lately, with Defence Minister Peter Dutton sending twenty of the $2.75m fighting vehicles to assist Ukraine.
It came as a great surprise when Australian National Show and Shine committee member Tony Clota announced that following representations to Mr. Dutton, and subsequent negotiations with the Commander in charge of the ADF’s Joint Operations Support Staff, he had secured a Bushmaster for display at the Euroa Show and Shine on Sunday 2nd October 2022.
Mr. Clota had previously been hopeful of securing an Abrams A1M1 Main Battle Tank for the show, but this had not been possible due to some logistical problems in getting the tank to Euroa. It turned out that with the Abrams weighing in at 62 tonnes, and with another 18.6 tonnes for its transporter, the ADF was not sure whether some bridges in the area would hold the combined 80+ tonnes.
It was decided that the tank, transporter and most of Burton’s Bridge falling into the Seven Creeks would not have been appreciated, so the Bushmaster was secured as a worthy replacement attraction.
Known as the “world’s leading armored vehicle” and manufactured in Bendigo, a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle is an armoured personnel carrier designed to carry and rapidly deploy up to 10 battle-ready soldiers.
The four-wheel-drive vehicles are designed for all environments and are blast-resistant, complete with flat-run tyres and a built-in self-inflation system.
Retired Australian Army major general Mick Ryan describes Bushmasters as a "Wonderful Australian-designed and built machine".
For the technically minded, Bushmaster is powered by a Caterpillar 3126E 7.2L six-cylinder diesel, turbocharged and delivering 224 kW (300 hp) @ 2,200rpm and 1,166 Nm (860 lb⋅ft) @ 1,440rpm. Transmission is a six-speed ECOMAT. With a top speed of over 100 Kph., Bushmaster has a range of 800km. It is fully air-conditioned and can sustain itself for a period of up to three days.
Armament consists of a range of mortar launchers, and three mounts for machine guns up to 7.62mm (one front and two rear)
Mr. Clota said that accompanying the Bushmaster may be an ADF recruitment unit to answer questions and inform any interested folks about careers in the Australian Defence Force.
Written by Ray Read
Picture - Bushmaster Armoured Fighting Vehicle.