Defence Minister Peter Dutton has announced that Australia will donate an additional 34 armoured vehicles to Ukraine.
The additional vehicles – comprising 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles (PMV) and 14 M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APC) – will add to the 20 Bushmasters previously donated and flown to Ukraine by RAAF C-17s and commercial Antonov airlifters in April.
The Vietnam-era M113s were substantially upgraded in the late 1990s and early-2000s, but are now being phased out of Army service as a decision on their replacement through LAND 400 Phase 3 – either the Hanwha Redback or Rheinmetall Lynx infantry fighting vehicles – nears. Some have already been withdrawn for conversion to optionally-manned vehicles by BAE Systems.
The Bushmasters are being drawn form Australian army stocks, and it is not clear if these will be replaced with new-build vehicles.
In addition to the armoured vehicles, Australia will also donate 60 pallets of medical supplies, three pallets of radiation monitoring equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE).