Bushmaster on show

AUSTRALIAN MADE... Australian Army Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles undergo refit at the Thales workshop before being prepared for shipment from Australia to Ukraine. Photos: Department of Defence/Major Roger Brennan.

Contributed by Ray Read
THE Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle made headlines this year after then-Defence Minister, Peter Dutton sent 20 of the $2.75M fighting vehicles to assist Ukraine.

National Show and Shine committee member, Tony Clota, has 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, October 2, 2022.

Mr Clota had been hopeful of securing an Abrams A1M1 Main Battle Tank for the show, but this has 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 armoured 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 built-in self-inflation system.

Retired Australian Army major general, Mick Ryan, describes the Bushmaster as a “Wonderfully 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.