Thales Australia has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy of a $160 million contract to build new Bushmaster Protected Vehicles for the Australian Army. The contract for the new Bushmasters was signed at Thales Australia’s Bendigo facility today in the presence of Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters who has been a strong advocate for manufacturing jobs in Bendigo. The manufacture of new Bushmasters would directly support jobs at the Bendigo facility.
Thales Australia CEO Jeff Connolly said, “This is a strategic industrial capability that is vital for the Australian Defence Force. Today’s contract signing is an important expression of support from the Government, not just for the Bushmaster vehicle, but also for the manufacturing capability and Australian supply chain that produces and sustains the vehicles. Work will begin immediately on the new vehicles, with a mix of troop-carrying vehicles and Command vehicles to be manufactured over the next 18 months.”
More than 1200 Bushmasters have already been manufactured at our Bendigo facility and as well as proving to be a life-saving vehicle for the Australian Army in operations in the Middle East, they have been exported to eight nations including the Netherlands, UK, Fiji, Jamaica, New Zealand, Japan and Indonesia. Bushmasters gifted to Ukraine by the Australian Government are currently in service in Ukraine and providing a vital capability to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they fight the illegal Russian invasion.
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four-wheel drive armoured vehicle. The Bushmaster was primarily designed by the then government-owned Australian Defence Industries (ADI), and is currently produced by Thales Australia following their acquisition of ADI. In addition to direct employment on site in Bendigo, the manufacture of Protected Vehicles supports around 360 jobs in Australian supply chain with many suppliers across regional areas of Victoria and New South Wales.
Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Thales Australia employs around 3,800 people directly and supports over 2,051 job along its Australian supply chain. In 2020 Thales Australia spent $657 million with 1,841 Australia suppliers, of which 82% are SMEs. Since 2018 Thales Australia has spent over $1.9 billion with local Australian businesses. Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high quality solutions for Australian and export markets, generating revenue of $1.6 billion in exports over the past 10 years.