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Bushmaster integrates complete package

18 June 2008

Thales has taken the lead in systems integration, demonstrating multiple systems and a range of products in its Bushmaster vehicle.

Focusing on system to system integration, Thales has highlighted the advanced functionality and enhanced capabilities of networked systems in its Bushmaster display at the Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris, France.

In an operational environment these systems and products increase the ability to deliver effective firepower, maximise combat effectiveness through the management of troops, and enhance the protection and safety of the vehicle and its occupants.

Due to the modular design of the Bushmaster, Thales can integrate products from a wide range of other manufacturers' products. In consultation with customers, subject matter experts, scientists and technical engineers, Thales is able to design the Bushmaster Family of Vehicles (FOV) to cater for products from any supplier to fulfil the customer's requirements for the vehicle. This is achieved while still keeping the Bushmaster FOV design elements focused on the combination of protection and mobility, and is the result of Thales's unique complete systems integration capability.

A key feature of the weapons system on display at Eurosatory is the Kongsberg Protector M151. This Remote Weapon Station (RWS) is provided with a specialist workstation, forward facing in the vehicle to enable the operator to fire a range of weapons including 7.62mm GPMG, .50" HMG and 40mm AGL from the safety of the vehicle. With Thales's thermal sight fitted, the Kongsberg M151 provides an outstanding surveillance and weapon sighting system.

Commanders' ability to manage the situation in and around the vehicle is imperative to the success of any mission. Thales's Battle Management System enables commanders to maximise the passage of information through networked battlefield awareness delivering optimised response to operational scenarios. This enables the commander to control the battlespace environment when integrated with: the SOTAS wireless intercom system; fitted cameras giving the crew local situational awareness in good and poor conditions; small to large communications systems enabling communication between dismounted troops and friendly forces; plus the Thales-built Combat ID system.

A wide range of field upgradeable protection packages are available for the vehicle depending on the threat environment. Laser warners provide a directional alert to vehicle crews that their vehicle is being targeted by a laser designated weapon, in order for them to take evasive action. The PILAR acoustic warning system detects and provides a directional alert to vehicle crews from small arms threats.

These systems, as well as the driver's night vision system, enable safe operation of the Bushmaster at night and in poor visibility without use of vehicle lights, providing a tactical advantage. All these components add to the overall safety and protection of the vehicle and its occupants.

Chris Jenkins, managing director of Thales in Australia, said: "We consider the vehicle to be part of the system integration paradigm. By taking this approach, and with the modular configuration of the Bushmaster FOV, our system integrators are able to introduce a wide range of technologies that will enhance the functionality and capability of the vehicles. With Thales's global supply chain, and 25,000 engineers and researchers working on cutting edge technologies, we can ensure that the latest advancements are incorporated into the vehicles".

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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