The New Zealand government has approved the purchase of 43 Thales Bushmaster protected military vehicles (PMV) for the New Zealand Army.
To be known as the Bushmaster NZ5.5, they will replace Pinzgauer armoured vehicles in New Zealand Army service. Five Bushmasters are already in service with New Zealand’s Special Air Service, and are known as the Special Operations Vehicle – Protected Heavy (SOV-PH).
“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,” NZ Defence Minister Ron Mark said in a statement. “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,” Mr Mark added. “Funding of $102.9 million will deliver the vehicles, along with training, a desk top simulator, support equipment, and infrastructure upgrades at Linton Camp.”
Deliveries of the new vehicles are expected to start in late 2022, for service entry in 2023.