Thick armour, beefy tyres, and much seats for the troops. A fleet of caller armoured vehicles has arrived for the Army and volition soon beryllium seen connected New Zealand’s roads.
Defence Minister Andrew Little was joined by subject apical brass and defence officials astatine Trentham subject campy connected Thursday greeting for a show of the archetypal 18 of the 43 Bushmasters purchased from an Australian steadfast for $102.9 million.
The 11-tonne vehicles person almighty Caterpillar engines, run-flat tyres which tin beryllium inflated and deflated from the driver’s seat, and tin transportation 10 passengers – much than the 4 carried by the Pinzgauer vehicles the Bushmasters volition replace.
“It feels similar a precise awesome vehicle. They wouldn’t fto maine commencement it oregon thrust it, truthful that’s understandable,” Little said, aft sitting successful the 1 of the vehicles.
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The Government announced it would acquisition 43 Bushmasters successful 2020. As the archetypal 18 are tested and certified, the Defence Force expects the remaining to beryllium delivered by September. Another batch of the vehicles was arriving connected Thursday afternoon.
The Bushmasters are considered superior to the Pinzgauers, archetypal bought successful 2003, due to the fact that of their V-shaped undercarriage, which directs the vigor of immoderate blast – from the likes of an improvised explosive instrumentality (IED) – distant from the vehicle. Three New Zealand soldiers died successful Afghanistan erstwhile an IED exploded nether their Humvee.
Little said the signifier of the conveyance was “a precise important feature, learned from erstwhile experiences erstwhile we’ve deployed folks overseas”.
"These vehicles play a precise important relation for the relation that our defence forces play, not conscionable if they get sent for peacekeeping oregon into a struggle zone, but besides for the humanitarian assistance and catastrophe betterment that we besides do.
“Those who get sent to hazardous areas, careless of the hazard, request to beryllium deployed safely, and these vehicles guarantee that.”
The 43 vehicles volition beryllium certified for usage connected the road, meaning they volition beryllium seen connected highways arsenic they question to some Linton and Burnham subject camps, wherever they volition beryllium based.
Some of the Bushmasters yet to beryllium delivered would beryllium fitted retired arsenic ambulances, and bid and power centres. The vehicles are yet to person communications instrumentality installed, thing the Government allocated $80m for successful the 2023 Budget.