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30 May 2007

"The success of Bushmaster demonstrates the world class design and innovation capability that Thales has developed in Australia", said Norman Gray, Managing Director, Thales Australia.

"Our military vehicles, designed and manufactured in Australia, are currently in service in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Under the contract Thales Australia will supply the vehicles in five variants based on existing build configurations, to be delivered no later than 30 March 2009.

"A number of enhancements have been made to the vehicles based on feedback we have received from personnel on operations," said Darryl Page, Vice President, Land Systems, Thales Australia. "These enhancements will ensure the best protection and mobility for our troops."

The new contract will address the requirements of the Australian Defence Force, whileincorporating mechanisms that allow Thales Australia flexibility in build schedule. This will enable other potential small quantity export opportunities to be fulfilled from our existing production capacity.

The vehicles will be built at the Thales Australia facility located in Bendigo, Victoria, where the company has been a prime defence manufacturer for more than 65 years. The workforce of approximately 400 employees has full capability to conceive, design, develop, manufacture and support military vehicle protected mobility solutions.

Upon build completion, Thales Australia will utilise its rapidly developing network of centres around Australia and overseas to provide ongoing vehicle service support. Thales Australia is committed to sustaining Australian SMEs through local development of military systems integrated into Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles.

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