Jamaican Gov’t dishes out over $1 billion for military-grade armoured vehicles

The Thales Bushmaster. (Photo: Richard Frigge for Wikipedia)

The Government of Jamaica continues its investment in the fight against crime this week, with the acquisition of six Thales Bushmaster Protected Vehicles.

According to a statement from the Thales Group on Monday (June 15), the purchase was done on behalf of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and continues the country’s five-year relationship with the Australian-made manufacturer.

The purchase covers three troop carriers and three ambulance versions of the Bushmaster, bringing the JDF’s overall fleet of vehicles to 18.

The Thales Group indicated that the transaction cost Jamaican taxpayers €7 million, which when converted into local currency is an estimated $1.98 billion.

“Thales’ Bushmaster protected vehicle will lead to enhanced safety and security for Jamaican citizens, helping crime fighters in their crucial mission,” said Vice President of Thales in Latin America, Ruben Lazo.

Vice President of Thales in Latin America, Ruben Lazo. (Photo: Pinterest)

The Bushmaster is an 11-tonne, 4×4 blast and ballistic protected mobility vehicle with a 4-tonne payload. This multifaceted, combat proven vehicle is specially designed to protect and transport up to ten people in extreme environments and hostile territory.

According to Thales, the Bushmaster saves lives on- and off-road, providing an “excellent balance of protection, mobility, space and cost that is well proven in service to many nations around the world.”

The French company further noted that the new vehicles for Jamaica come with special features including “fully integrated Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) that provide power and supplementary air conditioning when the engine is off.”

“This allows static vehicles to maintain a comfortable temperature in the hot Jamaican climate. As the ambulance versions will give soldiers the ability to evacuate and treat injured police officers under the protection of the Bushmaster rather than having to deploy vulnerable unarmoured vehicles into dangerous situations,” Thales said.