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Project Bushranger.

Project Bushranger is to select an Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV ~ wheeled armoured personnel carrier) for the Australian Army.

bushm aster
ADI Bushmaster 1998
Bushranger IMV Requirements:
Carry 9 soldiers and equipment, fuel and supplies for 3 days, including at least 270L water. Range of 600-1000km, cruising at 90kph on highway and with offroad ability equal to the Unimog truck. Provision for a machine gun mount. Armour protection against 7.62mm and 5.56mm standard shot is required and against armour piercing shot and mines is desirable.

Phase 1 of project Bushranger began back in 1993 with the decision to supply Interim Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IIMV) - variants of the Land Rover Perentie 1 ton (4.4) and 2 ton (6x6) all wheel drives. Existing models were provided from late 1995; the final variants should be supplied in 1998. (Also, in September 1997 Rover signed a contract to supply 37 vehicles to carry trunk and satellite communication equipment for project Parakeet.)

Phase 2A, 1994, started the process to select Infantry Mobility Vehicles (IMV). 13 companies expressed interest and five were short-listed in 1995: Australian Specialised Vehicle Systems, British Aerospace, Perry Engineering, Transfield and Westrac.

Phase 2B, the request for tender (RTF) process for test vehicles began in late 1995. Transfield and Westrac dropped out leaving:

  1. Australian Specialised Vehicle Systems (ASVS) (Australian National Industries / Reumech OMC of South Africa) - Taipan
  2. British Aerospace Australia (BAeA) - Foxhound
  3. Perry Engineering / Stewart & Stevenson (USA) - Bushmaster, later substituted by Australian Defence Industries (ADI)
All three are four wheel drive vehicles in the 10 to 12 tonne range.

The Taipan is a development of the South African Mamba. Both the Taipan and the Foxhound are based on the well proven Unimog chassis and running gear and the Australian Army already uses Unimog trucks. The Bushmaster is a new vehicle of monocoque construction and with independent suspension at each corner. The design must aim for lower weight (or more armour), a lower profile, a lower centre of gravity, and better handling.

British Aerospace (BAe) later withdrew leaving ASVS and ADI to negotiate the supply of a small number of trial vehicles. Tests were scheduled to start in mid 1998.

Phase 3 is to supply IMV's, with the selection decision scheduled for before 2000 and with deliveries beginning two years later.

1999, March: ADI's Bushmaster 4x4 was selected as the winner of Project Bushranger.

Go to the ADI, Australian Military and Military Vehicles pages

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