The Minister of Defence Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the first 18 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle for the New Zealand Army, alongside personnel at Trentham Military Camp. The Bushmasters are Australian-designed and built vehicles and will replace the New Zealand Army’s ageing armoured Pinzgauers. December 2017, the New Zealand Government has invested more than $4.5 billion in 12 major defence capability projects. This includes $102.9 million towards the Bushmaster fleet. The Bushmasters will also enhance the New Zealand Defence Force’s interoperability with our overseas partners, as many already use them. Budget 2023 also included investment in world class communications systems to ensure interoperability with our international partners.
“The arrival of the Bushmaster fleet represents a significant uplift in capability and protection for defence force personnel, and a milestone in the Government’s historic investment in our defence kit. Bushmaster vehicles carry more troops than the armoured Pinzgauer and offer greater blast and ballistic protection to personnel. Our soldiers operate in a variety of challenging situations. The Bushmasters are multipurpose vehicles that will boost their ability to help communities here in New Zealand, the Pacific, and overseas – whether they are on peace and security missions, search and rescue, or natural disaster operations. This Bushmaster fleet was designed specifically for our use,” Andrew Little said.
5 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle operated by the New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) designated as the Special Operations Vehicle – Protected Heavy (SOV-PH). A memorandum of sale had been under negotiation with the Australian Defence Force for the transfer of the Bushmasters in 2017. In 2018, the NZ Ministry of Defence reported it had been signed. In July 2020, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence ordered 43 NZ5.5 variants with deliveries expected in 2022. the first 18 of 43 new NZ Army Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles arrived at an event at Trentham Military Camp. They will undergo testing and certification for New Zealand Army use at Trentham Military Camp, before they are sent to their home bases in Linton and Burnham Military Camps.
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four-wheel drive armoured vehicle. The role of the Bushmaster is to provide protected mobility transport (or protected troop lift capability), with infantry dismounting from the vehicle before going into action. 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. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army, British Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force, Indonesian Army, Fiji Infantry Regiment, Jamaica Defence Force, New Zealand Army and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.