Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles by ADI Limited, Australia.
The Bushmaster armoured vehicle is currently deployed in southern Iraq with the Australian Army?s Al Muthanna Task Group. The Bushmaster armoured vehicle, developed by ADI Limited in Australia is in full production at ADI's engineering and manufacturing facility at Bendigo, Victoria.
The first of 300 Bushmaster vehicles was delivered to the Australian Army in August 2004 and the vehicle was operationally deployed to Iraq in April 2005. By July 2005 the first 20 vehicles had been delivered and a further 32 had completed manufacture. The production line at Bendigo is completing one vehicle every two days and deliveries are scheduled to complete in 2007.
The US Army and Iraqi defence officials have expressed interest in the Bushmaster after observing its capabilities with the Australian Army
The Australian Army had tested the vehicle over thousands of kilometres in extreme climatic conditions and terrain, from sub-zero mountain areas to desert and tropical conditions in north Australia, prior to placing a contract with ADI Limited. The 300 Australian Army Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles will be in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command.
With a road cruise speed of 90km/h, the Bushmaster transports troops, quickly and comfortably and is suitable for deployment in complex, diffuse and lethal operational environments such as Iraq. The Bushmaster family of vehicles provides high-level protection against anti-tank mines, improvised explosive devices, mortar fragments and small arms fire.
Bushmaster is designed to transport up to ten troops. The cabin, with 1,415mm headroom, is fitted with seven face-to-face ergonomically designed seats with full harness seat belts. There is a personal weapons storage area, mission equipment storage, a radio suite, an air-conditioning unit and a cooled water drinking system.
The cabin is fitted with four roof hatches with locking handles to provide protection against ambush and alternative escape routes
The vehicle is transportable in C-130 Hercules aircraft for rapid deployment in forward areas of operation.
The driver and crew cabin areas are ergonomically designed for comfortable travel in varied terrain and harsh environments, minimising crew fatigue and allowing the crew to rest or concentrate on the mission. The engine noise level inside the cabin and crew compartment is very low
The cabin is fitted with a large windscreen and side windows for all round visibility. The dashboard is ergonomically arranged, with easily readable and night vision goggle compatible cockpit instrumentation. The driver can use the push button control central tyre inflation system to adjust the tyre pressure while on the move to suit the terrain type and to keep the tyres inflated with limited punctures.
The Bushmaster engine, a Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC turbocharged six-cylinder, produces up to 246kW (330hp) at 2,400rpm. It provides a power to weight ratio of 16kW per ton, cruise speed of 110km/h and maximum speed and 120km/h. The vehicle has an extended range of more than 1,000km.
A double wishbone independent suspension system designed by Timoney in County Meath, Ireland provides good cross-country mobility across difficult terrains. The complete powerpack, (engine, automatic transmission, cooling system) can be easily replaced in the field without special tools.
The commander's hatch on the left is equipped with a weapon mount for a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine gun. A light cannon can also be fitted. The ballistically protected windows can be fitted with optional shooting ports.
Lockers can be replaced with additional ammunition and arms or fuel and water tanks to extend the operational radius. The crew seating can be reconfigured to accommodate operational requirements.
The armour-protected chassis protects against the blast of Claymore, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, mortars, improvised explosive devices and NATO 5.56mm and 7.62mm ball ammunition. An upgrade armour kit provides protection against 5.56mm and 7.62mm armour piercing rounds. The shaped hull deflects the blast from the equivalent of a 9.5kg high-explosive land mine detonated under any wheel or under the centre section of the vehicle.
Wire cutters are installed on the roof on both sides of the vehicle to protect soldiers exposed above the roofline.
The fuel and hydraulic tanks are located outside the crew compartments to minimise fire risk. The fuel tanks are equipped with fire retardants to prevent explosion and inhibit deterioration of the fuel.
A 270L drinking water tank is installed under the floor of the crew compartment, contributing to crew safety in the event of a landmine explosion. The armour protected seating provides additional protection against spinal injuries.
The Bushmaster has been proven to provide the best possible protection against the blast of a landmine.