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Dutch Army plans Bushmaster fleet upgrade

23rd December 2021 - 15:43 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Bushmaster was first acquired by the Netherlands in 2006 (Photo: Dutch MoD)

The Dutch Army plans on a MLU to upgrade 102 Bushmasters. The platforms will feature reversing cameras, increased payload capacity, an upgraded onboard weapon station and an extra layer of armour.

In order to maintain ground troop mobility, the Dutch Army intends to introduce an MLU of its Bushmaster fleet, and upgrade the 102 in-service vehicles by 2027. The MoD expects to start operating the first improved platforms in early 2024.

A press release from the Dutch MoD, released on 14 December, stated that the service plans on awarding a contract for the modernisation process to Thales Australia, the Bushmaster's OEM.

New vehicle features are to include a reversing camera, better coupling for transmission and command systems, and an increased payload capacity.

The onboard weapon station will also be upgraded, enabling it to face current and future threats, and parts of the platform's armour will receive an extra layer to better protect soldiers.

These vehicles were first acquired by the Netherlands in 2006 with an expected lifespan of about 30 years. They have been used extensively during missions in Afghanistan and Mali.

Shephard Defence Insight notes that the Bushmaster was developed in 1995-99 to meet the Australian Army’s need for an Infantry Mobility Vehicle (later changed to Protected Mobility Vehicle) with high levels of protection, sustained speed, tactical mobility, endurance, ergonomics and situational awareness.

Apart from the Netherlands and Australia, the Bushmaster is also in service with Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and the UK.

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