In a significant development bolstering regional security and peacekeeping efforts, Indonesia has recently taken delivery of Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMVs) from Australia. This fulfillment of a long-standing promise underscores the commitment of both nations to enhancing Southeast Asian countries’ contributions to UN Peacekeeping Operations. The donation, which was announced by then-Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, in September 2021, has finally come to fruition on August 9th. Australia’s dedication to strengthening peacekeeping capabilities in the region is evident through the provision of 15 purpose-configured vehicles to Indonesia. These PMVs will play a pivotal role in advancing Indonesia’s peacekeeping endeavors, further solidifying their standing as a substantial contributor to global UN missions.
However, bureaucratic processes within Indonesia had initially delayed the implementation of this agreement. Despite Australia’s formal offer in 2021, Indonesia only ratified the accord in April of the current year. Nevertheless, subsequent actions have been swift, with comprehensive training and successful delivery completed. A noteworthy aspect of this collaboration is the training conducted by the Indonesian Army personnel. A contingent of soldiers traveled to Darwin, where they underwent an intensive training program facilitated by the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. This training curriculum, modeled after successful programs for other nations such as Fiji, comprehensively covered all facets of operating, maintaining, and utilizing these vehicles effectively. Rather than prioritizing English language proficiency, the focus was placed on technical skills.
The Bushmaster PMVs demonstrate exceptional suitability for peacekeeping missions characterized by elevated risks, such as ambushes, mines, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These hazards are commonly encountered in the operational areas where the Indonesian Army conducts peacekeeping missions. As validated by the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, Indonesia ranks as the seventh-largest contributor of personnel to UN missions globally. With over 2,500 Indonesian military and police personnel deployed across eight missions worldwide, their involvement extends to perilous assignments in active conflict zones in Central Africa and the Middle East. The delivery of Bushmaster PMVs from Australia to Indonesia signifies a notable advancement in regional peacekeeping capabilities.
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. 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. An Indonesian variant made by Pindad known as Sanca based on the Bushmaster but created to meet Indonesian requirements, was revealed in November 2016 after it was announced in October 2016 that Thales will work with Pindad.