Japan buys Thales Bushmasters

The Japanese Ministry of Defence has ordered four Bushmaster vehicles for deployment with the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF).

The vehicles, all troop carrier variants, will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Bendigo, Victoria, for delivery in late 2014.

"I am not surprised other countries are expressing an interest in Thales’ Bushmaster. It's a fantastic tick of approval," Ms Chesters said.

"The Bushmaster is an outstanding vehicle with a proven track record of saving troops’ lives."

"The export success of the vehicle is testimony to the hard work of the engineering and design team in Bendigo, which work with the Australian Defence Force and more than 120 Australian companies in the Bushmaster supply chain."

Ms Chesters said the fresh export orders will help keep the Bendigo production line open while we await the Australian Defence Force to finalise the contract for the Thales-built Hawkei.

"Defence manufacturing in Bendigo certainly has a proud history and, we hope, a promising and successful future,” she said.

"We need the Department of Defence contract for 1300 Hawkei combat vehicles to continue this legacy of defence manufacturing in Bendigo well into the future.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: "This new export order demonstrates the ongoing significance and versatility of the Bushmaster vehicle."

"It also shows that Australian manufacturing can compete in the global arena, even in specialist markets where competition is tough. We are very pleased to add the JGSDF as a new export customer, and look forward to working closely with them as these vehicles enter service."

The order has been placed through Thales Japan, and represents their first platform contract.