Raytheon Australia to upgrade Thales Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles with EW capability

As reported by Charbel Kadib in Defence Connect, Raytheon Australia has been selected by the Commonwealth government to upgrade the Australian Army’s existing fleet of Thales-built Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles as part of the $75 million Land Force Level Electronic Warfare Project.
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Thales Bushmaster fitted with EW equipment (Picture source: Australian army)

The new Electronic Warfare systems will be fitted to Thales Bushmaster 4x4 armored vehicles and will be interoperable with EW systems acquired by the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and other members of the five eyes community. A contract is expected to be in 2021, with delivery completed by 2023. Tranche 2 secured first pass approval in 2018 with the release of an invitation to tender.

The EW system will include electronic attack capable of jamming techniques, electronic support for detection, and C2 for networking and communication at the tactical, operational and strategic levels, and with battle management capabilities.

Under Tranche 1, the construction of facilities to support 72 EW Squadron, part of the Army’s 7th Signals Regiment at Borneo Barracks in Queensland, are due to commence in July for completion by year’s end. It will procure an additional six army EW systems beyond those purchased under the earlier LAND 500 Phase 1 contract. The new systems procured under Tranche 1 are required to be suitable for fitment to the Protected Mobility Electronic Platform variant Bushmaster, a trailer, or other in-service protected mobility options.

Quoted by Charbel Kadib, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy reflected on the capability benefits of the EW system: “The government is committed to increasing the ADF’s ability to operate and fight in complex electromagnetic environments”.

The Bushmaster is a 4x4 armored vehicle that was developed and designed by Thales Australia to provide a new highly mobile, ballistics, mine and improvised explosive device (IED) blast-resistant Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV). In APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) version, the vehicle has a crew of two and can accommodate up to eight infantrymen. The Bushmaster is in service in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands and, since recently, Ukraine thanks to the 60 units offered by the Australian government.