Thales unveiled a new version of its Bushmaster protected vehicle the company proposes for the British Army future Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected) – MRV(P) mission. At the International Armoured vehicles in London, the company displayed the ambulance variant and is also offering a troop carrier configuration – two of seven configurations required by the British Army.
The Bushmaster MR6 is a new version based on the combat-proven, protected mobility Bushmaster vehicle. the new model offers an increased level of protection, with an improved blast and ballistic protection, optional new RPG and additional fire protection capability.
To support the additional weight the vehicle is powered by a new, 330hp EURO-3 compliant engine matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Improved suspension, anti-lock braking system (ABS) which are mandatory safety features for the UK, are also featured. The central tire inflation system is improved with faster inflation. The vehicle also has a bi-directional winch for recovery operations. It has the maximum range of 800km. It is also capable of fording 1.50-meter deep water.
With extended rear compartment, the MR6 has an increased protected space and with increased suspension it has a capacity to carry additional loads of up to two tons, and has an increased troop capacity, accommodating 10 troops, in addition to the two crew members. The vehicle can carry an overhead gunner position, unmanned weapon station or gun turret mounting various weapons, up to 30mm guns.
The vehicle is designed to address British requirements with Ground Vehicle Architecture (GVA) compliant integral computing system (ICS). It is equipped with 360 AMP alternator and power management system that enables delivery of up to eight kilowatts external power with an optional auxiliary power unit (APU).
The Bushmaster is produced in Australia by Thales’ local subsidiary. Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, encouraged the Australian company’s decision entry to the British competition. “Like the Bushmasters operated by the Australian Defence Force, its innovative design protects passengers from explosive devices and has proven itself time and again on operations in high-risk environments, saving countless lives.” Pyne said, adding that “Thales has invested significantly in the design of the new vehicle at its Vehicle Centre of Excellence facility in Bendigo, Victoria. This work enhances the vehicle’s operational capability and increases its competitiveness on the global stage,” he said.