The donation of Australian defence Force equipment to the government of Ukraine has been expanded, with the provision of six M777 lightweight towed howitzers and 155mm ammunition.
Four of the M777s were loaded on to an RAAF C-17 Globemaster on 26 April for transport to eastern Europe.
“This support is being provided following a request by the United States and the Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia to provide heavy artillery weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as Russia steps up its offensive in the Donbas,” a joint 27 April statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton reads.
The M777s come on top of a donation of 20 Bushmaster PMVs to Ukraine. Following the arrival of the first three Bushmasters on 10 April, a second batch arrived on 17 April, and a third batch departed Amberley via C-17 on 20 April. In addition, six Bushmasters were transported from RAAF Amberley on 26 April on a commercial Antonov An-124 transport.
“The Australian Government will continue to identify opportunities for further military assistance where it is able to provide a required capability to the Ukraine Armed Forces expeditiously,” the statement adds.