23 Jan 18. Thales’s new Bushmaster MR6 to protect soldiers’ lives. Paul Harris of Thales Australia showed the Editor the latest version of Bushmaster MRAP the MR6 at IAV conference in London on 22nd January 2018.
To meet the challenge of evolving battlefield threats, Thales launched its new protected vehicle, the Bushmaster Multi Role 6 (MR6) at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference in London. This new platform builds on the proven pedigree and Bushmaster’s success with even greater levels of survivability to protect soldiers’ lives. Thales continually invests and innovates in future technologies to meet customer needs.
Designed and manufactured by Thales Australia, the new Bushmaster MR6 builds on Bushmaster’s battle-proven capability and continues its record of safety and reliability. Bushmaster’s true ‘deep V-Hull’ deflects blast energy away from the crew providing tremendous protection against land mines and IEDs. This protection has proven itself in numerous operations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali. Now in service in 8 countries, the Bushmaster is used in more than a dozen variant configurations in multiple roles.
The new Bushmaster MR6 is an evolved version of the original combat proven Bushmaster. The UK requires 218 vehicles for the Multi-Role Vehicle Protected (MRVP) Requirement 80 of which will be ambulances. Some key integration work such as EMC fits will be handled by Thales UK in the UK. Finnings is the support partner. The contract award is expected in December 2018, the GD Eagle 5 is the other contender. As the UK SF is already a user of the vehicle, Thales may have the edge on GD given the extensive deployment by the UKSF of the vehicle.
“The Bushmaster vehicle has been in continued development since it was conceived in 1999 as a VIP transport vehicle. Perry Engineering took over the design and transferred to ADI, now Thales Australia who won the Australian Bushranger contract in 1999 against the RG31. In July 2002, the Australian Army awarded a contract to ADI for 300 Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles in six variants: troop transport, ambulance, direct fire, mortar, engineer and command there are now 1000 vehicles in Australian service. We have built over 1200 vehicles at out Bendigo facility which have been supplied to eight customers, Australia, the UK, Japan, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Jamaica, New Zealand and Fiji.” Paul Harris said.
“What improvements have you made to the vehicle to meet the demanding UK Multi-Role Vehicle Protected (MRVP) Requirement?” The Editor asked.
“Thales invests significantly in new products and applies a continuous improvement strategy in leveraging customer feedback from combat operations. This new tactical platform is designed to meet the needs of the digitised battlespace and is currently being competed in the UK’s Multi-Role Vehicle Protected (MRVP) program, and if successful will create jobs in both Australia and the UK. The Bushmaster MR6 sets the new benchmark for protected vehicles in its class. Providing more protection, mobility, capacity and a range of valuable features and options, the vehicle is well positioned to meet customers’ future needs.” Paul Harris continued.
New Features on the MR6 include:
*New more powerful 330hp Euro 3 engine
*New transmission options
*Upgraded Central Tyre Inflation
New Hull design with:
*Central Tyre Inflation
*New armoured Front Doors
*Extended Rear Compartment
*New ambulance variant
*Wider Rear Door
* RWS with a range of weapons from 7.72/12.7mm MG, 40mm Auto Grenade Launcher (eg Mk19) and options for new generation Guided Rockets, ATGM and even a 30mm cannon