Dutch buys additional Bushmaster IMVs for Afghan Mission

17:08 GMT, January 9, 2009 -- The Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands today confirmed that the Armed Forces will receive another batch of nine mine resistant Bushmaster IMVs. The mine-resistant patrol vehicle build by Thales-ADI (Australia) has proven itself with Australian forces in Iraq but also with the Dutch Army in Afghanistan. In august 2008 the Dutch Army already bought 13 more Australian-built Bushmaster armoured vehicles for $15million.

According to a MoD spokesman the nine additional Bushmasters will be directly deployed to Afghanistan to strengthen its Uruzgun force - where Dutch forces are operating as part of NATO/ISAF – since NATO takes on greater responsibility in Southern Afghanistan.

Dutch Bushmasters’ first Afghan patrol (photo @ DID)

The new vehicles will be fitted with a grappler (see illustration) to find, dig if needed and destroy IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) as well as with cameras and sensors, said a a Defensie Materieelorganisatie (defence procurement agency, DMO) official to defpro.com.

Netherlands already bought 49 Bushmasters since 2006 most of them have been transported directly to Afghanistan. However, some of these are heavily damaged or even destroyed - mostly the result of roadside bombs, the spokesman said.

All vehicles are expected to be delivered to Afghanistan already on April 1st. (news @ Defro)

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