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From the outback to Oshkosh to Baghdad: Oshkosh adds Bushmaster Assured Mobility Vehicle to military lineup through agreement with Australia's ADI for use in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Expanding its military vehicle lineup, Oshkosh Truck Corp. has added the armored Bushmaster Assured Mobility Vehicle under a licensing agreement with Australian vehicle developer ADI Limited. Through the agreement, Oshkosh has the North American marketing, manufacturing and support rights to the Bushmaster, which it will produce at its Oshkosh, Wis., facility. Oshkosh will also supply the vehicles to countries eligible for foreign military sales.

"The Bushmaster provides Oshkosh Truck with an even greater ability to support our customers through a wider spectrum of conflict," said John Stoddart, executive vice president and president, defense at Oshkosh. "As threats and the nature of conflict have evolved, the need for vehicles offering greater safety has grown. This vehicle can meet that need by not only improving troop safety, but delivering the level of performance the military expects from an Oshkosh vehicle."

The Bushmaster was initially introduced seven years ago by ADI, and today more than 100 vehicles are in service with the Australian Defence Force. A number of units have been deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. These armored vehicles are used to transport troops and equipment through theater areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their V-shaped hull renders them mine-blast resistant and the exterior armor provides lED and ballistic protection to its occupants.

Configurable in a 4x4 or 4x6 variant, the Bushmaster's solid, modular platform is engineered to allow for adaptability and use during urban combat, reconnaissance or even convoy security situations. The vehicle is also designed to travel long distances over rough terrain, making it more effective in tactical environments. On-road cruising range for the Bushmaster is 500 miles using an 82 gal fuel tank and 5 gal. internally protected tank. Maximum travel speed is 65 mph (on paved surfaces) with gradeability of 60% and slope capability of 36% with maximum cross-country load.

The Bushmaster has a 33,070 lb. GVWR and a wheelbase of 153.6 in. It is powered by a 7.2 L six-cylinder turbocharged Caterpillar 3126E ATAAC diesel engine rated 330 hp at 2200 rpm. This engine has 860 lb.ft. of torque, self-diagnostic capability and is mated with a ZF 6HP502 ECOMAT G2 transmission. With six forward and one reverse speeds, the ZF unit is driven through a Fabco TC170 single-speed transfer case. The engine/transmission assembly is designed to be removed and retrofitted in less than three hours. An Allison MD 3066 transmission can be fitted with the powerplant as an option.

The chassis is also equipped with an ArvinMeritor front axle; a hydropneumatic rear axle; Oshkosh's independent coil spring suspension; Shepard M110PEL1 power-assisted steering; differential locks placed front, rear and center; and dual circuit, air-operated, outboard disc brakes at all four wheels. Michelin 395/85 R20 tires with bead locks are also fitted front and rear and outfitted with a four-setting CM Automotive central tire inflation system to provide enhanced traction in varied terrain. Optional run-flat inserts allow the Bushmaster to be mobile despite tire damage.

When configured as a 4x4, dimensions on the Bushmaster are 282.2 in. long by 97.6 in. wide by 105.1 in. high, which allows for transport by a C-130 aircraft or helicopter. Usable internal volume is 395.5 cu.ft., including wrap-around seats with full-harness seatbelts to accommodate a 10-passenger crew. Ballistic glass is placed on all the windows, and both the fuel and hydraulic tanks are positioned outside the crew compartment for protection against secondary explosions or fires. As a base vehicle, the Bushmaster is rated to exceed STANAG 4569 Level 1 and through a series of options can meet Level 3 standards, the company said.

Oshkosh said it plans to use common components on the Bushmaster and its other military vehicle models, making it easier and less expensive for the U.S. military to supply logistics to support for this vehicle and others within its fleet. Oshkosh currently provides logistics service for the Australian Bushmaster fleet in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oshkosh said it will supply North American demands of the Bushmaster and that it can sustain significant volumes of the vehicle if required. Additional demands of the Bushmaster will be handled through ADI's Bendigo, Australia, facility.

To date, an additional 200 Bushmaster units are under contract and scheduled for production by ADI in Australia.

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Title Annotation:MILITARY VEHICLES
Author:Geske, Dawn M.
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:713
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