Thales makes 800th Bushmaster; no word on ADF contract decision

Competition is heating up among the three companies vying for a multimillion dollar federal government contract to build Bushmaster vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.

Bendigo electronics and systems manufacturer Thales Australia hosted a visit from Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare on Wednesday; a visit organised to not only showcase the company’s facilities and equipment but to “court” the Government in its decision over the Bushmaster contract.

However ministers were unable to set a date for a decision. It is expected that the decision will announced in August or September this year.

Thales has been is short-listed for the contract against European vehicle manufacturers MAN and Mercedes-Benz.

The ministers’ visit to the Bendigo factory was in tribute of the 800th Thales Bushmaster vehicle rolling off the production line.

Thales would have built 838 Bushmasters in Bendigo for the federal government once it delivered the 101 new vehicles the government ordered earlier this year, Mr Smith said.

Total purchase cost of the 101 Bushmasters is vauled at $133 million.

Thales in Australia is part of a leading international electronics and systems group which serve the defence, aerospace and space, security, and transport markets.

Image soucred: ADM

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