The ADI Bushmaster is a mean machine by anyone’s standards. This Australian-designed and built infantry mobility vehicle cruises at 110km/hr (68mph) with ease. It has an extended range of over 1000 km (620 miles) and accommodates nine fully equipped military personnel in air-conditioned comfort.
ADI Limited will supply 341 Bushmasters to the Australian Army in a contract worth A$200million (US$130m). The Bushmaster is the first Australian-designed and developed armoured combat vehicle to be introduced into service by the Australian Army since World War II. The supply contract was hotly contested and is testimony to ADI’s ability to design, develop, test and build vehicles meeting the Army’s very high performance requirements.
The vehicle is manufactured from specially developed Australian steel and built using ADI’s specialist welding techniques. The monocoque shell is designed to deflect anti-vehicle mine blasts equivalent to 9.5kg of high explosive detonated under the vehicle or under any wheel. It also provides protection against mortar blasts and NATO 5.62mm and 7.62mm ball ammunition. Upgrades are available to add protection against armour-piercing ammunition.
The Bushmaster’s Caterpillar engine is one of a range proven in the field through the United States Army‘s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) program. The six cylinder turbocharged diesel develops 224kW (300bhp) at 2400 rpm providing exceptional power and low end torque. An Allison 7-speed adaptive shifting auto transmission, Rockwell all-wheel drive, independent suspension and big 395/85 R20 tyres complete the drivetrain. To describe the Bushmaster as robust seems something of a ridiculous understatement.
The ADI Bushmaster provides unrivalled performance, outstanding protection and ultimate comfort. The ADI Bushmaster provides unrivalled performance, outstanding protection and ultimate comfort.
The cabin volume is a massive 10.6 cubic metres (374 cubic feet) and amply accommodates a full load of 95th percentile males (big guys). There is refrigerated drinking water on tap and climate controlled interior to counter the harshest external conditions. Ergonomically designed, wide-pitched seating also ensures that troops travel in ultimate comfort and arrive ready to operate at peak capacity, even after long journeys over rough terrain. Advanced seating and harness arrangements protect the occupants against spinal injuries in the event of mine blast or collision. The design and development of the Bushmaster has focused on outstanding levels of protection for the driver and crew.
The cockpit includes night vision compatible instrumentation, developed for the FMTV, which provides the driver with a comprehensive picture of the vehicle condition. A push-button central tyre inflation system allows the driver to adjust tyre pressures on the move for all terrains including highway, sand, mud, snow and under severe emergency conditions. The Bushmaster driving position. The Bushmaster driving position.
Externally the Bushmaster provides capacious lockers for kit and equipment. Water and fuel tanks are located such as to enhance crew safety. All windows and openings are ballistically protected. A weapon mount provision at the Commander’s roof hatch transforms the Bushmaster into an armoured personnel carrier or scout car.
A unique combination of proven componentry and innovative design has created an exceptional vehicle, designed and built specifically for Australia’s demanding conditions, but equally suitable for operations anywhere in the world.
The ADI Bushmaster is a high performance vehicle that demands uncompromising design. It is built of expensive materials using sophisticated processes for the use of combat personnel in high risk situations.
PTC’s Pro/ENGINEER design software is a key design tool at ADI. Complex experimental designs are modeled in 3D and tried in virtual assemblies with Pro/ENGINEER quickly and with high precision. Reliable results and speed to create, try and visualize, combined with reliable results has dramatically reduced the time from concept to manufacture.
Conceptual designs can be efficiently modeled prior to submitting tenders to verify that design requirements can be met. ADI uses PTC’s finite element analysis (FEA) application Pro/MECHANICA inside Pro/ENGINEER. Integrated FEA eliminates the data loss and misinterpretation that can occur using external FEA packages.
There is no room for “ifs” or “maybes” in the business of designing and supplying sophisticated equipment like the Bushmaster. Designing such a machine requires a delicate balance of strength and mass optimized with high tech materials and construction processes. The designer’s ability to fuse the many components together into a total solution is at the core of a successful result. Accuracy of data and confidence in the design information from its engineering software tools contribute strongly to ADI’s business advantage—before tender submission and certainly in its capacity to deliver finished product on time and on budget when contracts are won.
The Bushmaster is an outstanding vehicle in every way. Commercial success of the project is also assured as the Bushmaster attracts growing international interest—to the benefit of those who will use the vehicle and to the pride of those who have created it.
This story is dedicated to a friend and fellow CAD professional, Tim Filippi, who passed away on January 17 2000 aged 35 years. Tim was a mechanical designer and a proud member of the ADI team. Still remembered. Sadly missed.