*Source: DTN News / Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - August 23, 2009: The Ministry of Defence has ordered 14 additional Bushmaster armoured patrol vehicles. These come on top of the 14 Bushmasters which were already bought in June, and have been deployed this month in Uruzgan for the first time.The Dutch Army will buy 14 additional Bushmaster patrol vehicles for Afghanistan, bringing its total fleet of the vehicles to 86.
The purchase amounts to in sum 10.9 million euros, State Secretary of Defence Jack de Vries told Parliament yesterday.
The Bushmasters are of great value to Task Force Uruzgan (TFU) because they provide much-improved protection against roadside bombs.
Due to losses in previous periods, and the costs and time involved in repairing damaged vehicles, particularly in Australia, a shortage threatened. Nine new Bushmasters are added directly to the available fleet, while the remaining five will form a reserve to compensate for possible future losses.
The total number of Bushmasters procured by Defence thus increases to 86 vehicles, of which nine are fitted with a remotely-piloted arm for IED manipulation.
The contract with the manufacturer of the Bushmaster, Thalès Australia, will be signed shortly, so as to allow deliveries of the new vehicles to begin in October. The rapid purchase process for this type of urgently-needed equipment requires special acquisition procedures. These are known as ‘Fast Track Procurement’ and have been developed by the Defence Material Organisation.