Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle

The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four wheeled, all-wheel drive armoured vehicle. The Bushmaster is based on a design by Irish company Timoney Technology Ltd under a licence agreement with Perry Engineering in Adelaide; that licence was sold, with permission granted by Timoney as required by the licence terms, to Thales Australia. Once the Bushmaster was selected by the Australian Army after trials in 1998 to meet the Bushranger project requirements, the range of variants was developed further by Thales Australia in Bendigo. Oshkosh Truck has a contract to provide support and would manufacture in the US if there were an American order. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army and British Army.

Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Thales Australia
Origin Australia
Country Name Origin Year
Australia 1998
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Australia 1998 View
Indonesia View
Jamaica View
Japan View
Netherlands View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Thales Australia 2004 1072 View

The role of the Bushmaster is to provide armoured transport, with infantry dismounting from the vehicle before going into action. As the Bushmaster is only lightly armoured, the term Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) was initially adopted to distinguish it from a heavier wheeled or tracked armoured personnel carrier, such as the ASLAV and M113 also in Australian service. The design replaced some troop carrier variants of the Land Rover Perentie.[citation needed] Later the name was changed to Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV).

The Bushmaster is optimised for operations in northern Australia, and is capable of carrying up to 9 soldiers and their equipment, fuel and supplies for 3 days, depending on the type of variant. The vehicle is fitted with air conditioning and was once planned to have a cool water drinking system, but was omitted upon production due to cost constraints. After operational complaints the drinking water cooling system is being reconsidered for installation. It has a road cruise speed of 100 km/h and an operational range of 800 km.

The Bushmaster is a mine protected vehicle and provides a high degree of protection against land mines, using its v-hull monocoque to deflect the blast away from the vehicle and its occupants. The vehicle's armour provides protection against small arms of up to 7.62 mm calibre. The fuel and hydraulic tanks of the vehicle are located outside the crew compartment, while it also has an automatic fire suppression system. The troop carrier variant of the Bushmaster is fitted with one gun ring. The forward gun ring can be fitted with a 5.56 mm or 7.62 mm machine gun. The two rear hatches each have a mounting boss to allow the attachment of a swing mount capable of holding a 5.56 mm machine gun (such as the F89 Minimi).

The Bushmaster is air transportable by C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III and Mil Mi-26 aircraft. It is the first armoured vehicle to be designed and completed manufactured in Australia since the Sentinel tank during the Second World War.


In keeping with the vehicle's role and capabilities, the Australian Army designates Bushmaster equipped infantry units as being motorised, and not mechanised. Following the vehicle's troubled development, a total of 299 Bushmasters were ordered by the Wheeled Manoeuvre Systems Program Office of the Defence Materiel Organisation for the Australian Defence Force (reduced from the 370 which were originally ordered). Bushmaster deliveries began in 2005 (three years later than was originally scheduled) and were scheduled to be completed in July 2007. Deliveries of the troop carrier variant (152 vehicles) were completed on 7 June 2006. Deliveries of the command variant were completed by mid-2006 followed by the delivery of the other variants.

In December 2006 the Australian Minister for Defence announced that the Australian Bushmaster order has been increased and over 400 vehicles will be delivered. This figure was confirmed as 443 vehicles in a subsequent press release. In August 2007 an additional 250 were ordered for a total ADF delivery of 696 vehicles of all configurations. This was further increased in October 2008 to 737 vehicles for the Australian Defence Force. On 12 May 2011 the Australian government announced the purchase of an additional 101 Bushmasters, in order to replace vehicles damaged on operations and to provide additional vehicles for training and operational use. A further order for 214 vehicles was announced in July 2012.

The South Australian Forestry Corporation (ForestrySA) has ordered 15 FireKings. Deliveries of the FireKing to ForestrySA were completed in November 2005.

Type 4x4 MRAP Cat. II
Place of origin Australia
Service history
In service 1998 – present
Used by Users
Wars East Timor
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Northern Mali conflict
Production history
Designer Thales Australia (formerly ADI)
Manufacturer Thales Australia (formerly ADI)
Unit cost A$562,878-A$589,182
Produced 2004 – present
Number built 1072
Variants Command, ISTAR, Explosive Disposal, Troop Carrier, Utility
Weight 12,400 kg (27,337 lb) (kerb),
15,000 kg (33,069 lb) (GVM)
Length 7,180 mm
Width 2,480 mm
Height 2,650 mm
Crew 1 (driver),
9 (passengers)
Armor Greater than STANAG 4569, Level 1. V-shaped monocoque hull
One forward main gun ring for a heavy crew served system
Two rear swing mounts
Engine Caterpillar 3126E 7.2L six-cylinder diesel, turbocharged
246 kW (330 hp) @ 2,200rpm
1,166 N·m (860 lb·ft) @ 1,440rpm
Power/weight 26.4 hp/tonne
Transmission ZF 6HP502 ECOMAT G2 (six forward speeds, one reverse)
Suspension Arvin Meritor 4000 series fully independent, progressive coil spring with upper control arm and lower wishbone
Ground clearance 1,340 mm (front overhang),
1,950 mm (rear overhang),
40° (approach angle),
38° (departure angle),
60% (gradient),
36° (side slope),
457 mm (vertical obstacle),
1,200 mm (fording, unprepared)
Fuel capacity 319 L (84 U.S. gal)
800 km (497 mi) (GVM)
Speed 100km/h (governed)
Power assisted

End notes