For over two decades, BISALLOY® Armour and Structural Steel have been vital in protecting occupants of the Bushmaster. Now, the armoured vehicle protects Ukrainian soldiers after the Commonwealth donated 90 Bushmasters to Ukraine.
Bisalloy has been immensely proud to work alongside Bendigo defence manufacturer Thales Australia to see the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle come to fruition, with research and development initially starting in 1996.
Designed to be used by Australian armed forces, the armoured vehicles have specified various grades of BISALLOY® Armour and Structural Steel for vital components of the Bushmaster. Components such as the outer panels, doors, bonnet and hull.
In an undisclosed location in Ukraine, troops recently gave the Australian-made Bushmaster praise to ABC News while the armoured vehicles were getting put through their paces.
Ukrainian Solider Rustam, who is running a training session involving the Bushmaster that the ABC was granted access to, says the Australian vehicle has superior armour to other troop carriers.
“Bushmasters work perfectly. They can withstand RPG shots, run into mines, and tame enemy machine guns,” he says.
Ukrainian driver of the Bushmaster vehicle, Oleksandr, has also told ABC recently about the vehicle and how they are to play a “huge role” in the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia.
“It’s fantastic,” he explained when asked about the Bushmaster manufactured in Bendigo.
“Words cannot express it. It’s such a powerful vehicle. It is much easier to drive than our equipment,” he says.
The Commonwealth has donated 90 Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine to support their armed forces over the past year after Ukrainian president Zelenskyy addressed the national parliament asking for the vehicles. They have proved invaluable to Ukraine’s armoured forces.
Another Ukrainian troop Vladyslav told ABC that the vehicles have helped protect members of his unit during some of their most fierce battles.
“We were assigned the task of advancing to Bakhmut, the whole world knows what a difficult situation there is there and remains to this day,” he says.
“We came under fire from Russian artillery, we were covered with Grad MLRS and large-calibre mortars, but this vehicle survived and everyone inside, including me, remained alive.”
“They supported us not only in words, not only diplomatically, but also in deeds. They sent their wonderful machines, which perform their task very well in the defence of Ukrainian independence.”
The federal government has recently announced a 160 million dollar contract for Bendigo defence manufacturer Thales Australia to build another order of Bushmasters for the Australian army, which utilises Australian-made, military-grade steel from Bisalloy.
The contract for manufacturing 78 new Bushmasters over the next 18 months was signed at Thales Australia’s Bendigo facility at the end of May.
“More than 1,200 Bushmasters have already been manufactured at our Bendigo facility,” Thales Australia Chief Executive Jeff Connolly said.
“As well as proving to be a life-saving vehicle for the Australian Army, they have been exported to eight nations including the Netherlands, UK, Fiji, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Indonesia.”
The local manufacture of these incredible armoured vehicles is a true testament to the strength of the Australian manufacturing industry.
Click the links below to read more about the Bushmasters and their involvement in Ukraine.
– Photo curiosity of Department of Defence (Photographer: LACW Emma Schwenke)