Thales Australia has welcomed a $160 million contract to build new Bushmaster 4×4 Protected Vehicles for the Australian Army.
The contract for the new Bushmasters, revealed by Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy, was signed at Thales Australia’s Bendigo facility in the presence of Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters.
Thales Australia CEO Jeff Connolly expects the manufacturing of new Bushmasters to directly support jobs at the Bendigo facility.
He said: “This is a strategic industrial capability that is vital for the Australian Defence Force. The 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.
“In addition to our direct employment on site in Bendigo, the manufacture of Protected Vehicles supports around 360 jobs in our Australian supply chain with many suppliers across regional areas of Victoria and New South Wales.”