Cummins power for brilliant Bushmaster

Posted: June 14, 2011 in Defence

New Cummins-powered dual-cab Bushmaster utility during dyno testing at Cummins South Pacific headquarters at Scoresby in Melbourne.

Three letters send a chill through the spine of any soldier serving in Afghanistan – IED.

They stand for improvised explosive device, the military term for the deadly roadside bombs that are set by Taliban insurgents and are the No.1 killer of troops in the country.

The Australian-developed Bushmaster armoured vehicle has served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving scores of lives.

Plenty have been blown up, some catastrophically, but no soldier has ever died in a Bushmaster.

Former Australian Defence Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, commented: “I don’t know what we’d have done without it. It has been a magnificent vehicle.”

Over 800 Bushmasters are in service today with the Australian, UK and Netherlands armies.

A new development is the installation of the 6.7-litre Cummins ISBe5 engine in the Bushmaster.

“The Cummins B-series engine platform is one of the most successful ever developed by the company,” says Miles Paul, Manager of Defence Business for Cummins South Pacific. “In fact, Cummins produced its eight millionth B-series engine in 2010.

“The ISBe5 fits perfectly with the Bushmaster’s reputation for mobility and combat flexibility in the most hostile environments,” he points out.

“Testing has also showed that the ISBe5, when running on military grade fuel, has minimal power loss which is critical for combat effectiveness.”

The ISBe5, rated at 300 hp, has been engineered into the Bushmaster as an increasing number of governments around the world request the latest low-emission diesel engines for military vehicles.

The 6.7-litre Cummins meets the stringent Euro 5 emissions regulation, making the Bushmaster the only Euro 5 compliant combat vehicle produced in Australia.

Coalition helicopters provide close air support to the convoy. ---- Image © Australian Department of Defence

A number of Bushmaster variants are available and all have the distinctive v-shaped armoured hull to deflect bomb blasts away from the vehicle.

The Bushmaster platform now includes single-cab and dual-cab utilities with load carrying capacity of up 5.0 tonnes.

The single-cab utility is currently under consideration for the Australian Defence Force’s Land 121 Phase 3 light truck program which requires 350 vehicles over four years. A decision is expected in 2011 on who will supply these vehicles.

Thales Australia – formerly ADI (Australian Defence Industries) – manufactures the Bushmaster at its plant in Bendigo, Victoria. The first production Bushmasters rolled off the line in 2003 after a development period that started in the mid-’90s.

The Bushmaster family of 4×4 vehicles today includes troop carrier, command, ambulance, assault pioneer, direct fire support weapons, mortar and fire fighting vehicle variants along with the single and dual cab utilities.

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