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Army purchases 43 Bushmaster armoured vehicles

A Bushmaster vehicle. Supplied image/RNZ.

The government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers.

The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity.

"The age and lack of protection offered by the old fleet make this another investment in New Zealand Defence Force capability that must be made in order to protect our service people," says Defence Minister Ron Mark.

"The need to replace the army’s fleet of land vehicles was outlined in last year’s Defence Capability Plan, with the armoured Pinzgauer highlighted as a vehicle type reaching the end of its operational life and prioritised for replacement.

"The New Zealand Army operates in diverse and challenging environments, so a multi-purpose, highly mobile vehicle has been selected, one that has proven its ability to provide a high level of protection.

"Funding of $102.9 million will deliver the vehicles, along with training, a desk top simulator, support equipment and infrastructure upgrades at Linton Camp.

"The versatility of this vehicle will increase the Defence Force’s ability to help our communities during a time of need such as a natural disaster, and contribute to supporting vital peacekeeping operations with our global partners."

Along with wide use in Australia and other Five Eyes nations, the Bushmaster is already in service with New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces.

The new Bushmaster fleet will supplement other vehicles and provide new capabilities, such as a protected ambulance, that the army does not currently have. The vehicle’s high levels of blast and ballistic protection makes it suitable for deployment as a troop transport, operating as a command and communication hub.

"This is the second fleet of protected mobility vehicles approved for purchase by the government. It follows delivery this year of the Polaris MRZR fleet of side by side all-terrain vehicles that were announced last year to replace the quad bikes and other small vehicles used by the New Zealand Army.

"The Bushmaster is the right vehicle for our community, nation and region," says Mark.

Deliveries are expected to commence in late 2022 with the full fleet beginning operational introduction from late 2023.

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where are the army?

Posted on 12-07-2020 14:56 | By morepork

We have a professional defence force that we should be proud of, not carping because they are not doing what some of us think they should. They cannot be used to lock down isolation unless they are legitimately ordered to, and they haven’t been ordered to because it is not a black and white issue and is still being worked out. Our soldiers have proven themselves more than up to every task that has been required of them for the last 100-odd years. In peacetime they are carrying out relief and acting as essential service providers in places less fortunate than we are. I was one of the last Kiwis to be conscripted. Fiercely anti-war all my life, I was very reluctant about it. But it did me no harm and I am not ashamed to say I was a NZ soldier. They deserve our support.

Shot labour

Posted on 11-07-2020 21:32 | By

Really ??? What for, I mean like what does the army even do and where are they ??? We have just had a lockdown and no army to be seen surely they could have handled the road blocks instead of local gangsta wannabes. And security at isolation hotels where is the army??? Put them to use they do nothing !!!!

What about using the army

Posted on 11-07-2020 08:49 | By Johnney

Instead of worrying about flash toys why don’t they deploy the army as security around our quarantine hotels. They patrol as peacekeepers but not to our biggest and immediate threat on our own soil.

Lav's anyone?

Posted on 11-07-2020 08:21 | By Cynical Me

Probably a better but than the 104 Lavs that are still in the garage unused. Have they sold any yet aor will they be scrapped?