The Netherlands is looking to place another top-up order for Bushmaster vehicles.
[Photo: Dutch MOD]
This time, the country wants to buy another 14 Bushmasters, with an option to take eight more as the country tries to maintain equipment levels for Afghanistan-deployed forces.
In a letter to parliament, defense state secretary Jack de Vries says the deal will cost around € 10.9 million, with further allocations needed for support.
The rapid fielding program should lead to the vehicles to be ready for delivery already in October and November. The Netherlands has already acquired 62 Bushmaster.
The purchase of additional vehicles was made necessary by the number of attacks troops have suffered that have depleted the number of operationally available vehicles in Afghanistan. Part of the problem appears to be that repairs are not going as fast as hoped, in part because of the time it takes to ship the vehicles back to Australia, get them fixed, and then return them to Afghanistan. Thales Australia builds the vehicle.
De Vries also points out that since April, ten Bushmasters have incurred damage, necessitating the top-up order.The 14 vehicles are intended to provide nine immediately for operations, and a further five as spares.
The Netherlands announced its first purchase of Bushmasters in 2006, also as an urgent operational need.