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Thales launches Bushmaster Copperhead utility vehicle at Eurosatory

18 June 2008

This Utility or "Ute", to use the Australian slang, is a cab chassis 4 x 4 protected logistic vehicle that can carry a 4,000 kg load on its 9.4m2 tray. It also provides crew the protection, mobility and combat flexibility to fulfil the ever growing mission needs in demanding situations encountered by military forces around the world.

The Bushmaster Copperhead is the latest addition to the Bushmaster Family of Vehicles (FOV), and uses the same monocoque vee-shaped hull to provide protection against mine blast and improvised explosive devices (IED). This technology is enhanced by upgradeable ballistic protection options to the crew cabin and a protection system already operationally proven in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A cruising speed of 100 km/h, maximum range of 800 km, high clearance for obstacles and river crossings, tight turning circle, plus the capacity to go off road in all conditions, give Bushmaster Copperhead the ability to carry personnel, supplies and equipment with protected confidence to any frontline in any environment.

However, what makes the vehicle truly unique is the combination of protection systems and tactical mobility while carrying a substantial load.

Backed by an international supply chain, mechanical components are selected for their global availability, and are common with Bushmaster while providing Thales the ability to offer worldwide Through Life Support (TLS). Thales is always looking at innovative support packages to reduce the customer's risk while tailoring TLS packages to meet their specific needs. "

Australians have always had a fascination with the Ute and its unique body style. These vehicles have been extensively used on farms and construction sites across Australia for the last 75 years," said Chev Viviers, Chief Engineer for Bushmaster Copperhead. "It is the ruggedness, durability and functionality of the Ute that inspired the design of Bushmaster Copperhead."

Chris Jenkins, managing director of Thales in Australia, said: "The Copperhead marks a significant achievement for Thales Australia's design and construction team. Utilizing technologies, design elements and components already operationally proven, we have been able to construct a brand new vehicle that fulfils an operational requirement for the military. The latest addition to the Bushmaster family of vehicles offers enhanced safety features while increasing the operational capability of the armed forces".

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide. Thales's leading-edge technology is supported by 22,000 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. To this end, the group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. The group builds its growth on its unique multi-domestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2007 revenues of AUD19 billion.

Thales Australia is the leading defence systems and engineering company in Australia and is also present in civil sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing 3,700 people in over 35 sites around the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues in 2007 amounting to over AUD1 billion.

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