The first of 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles (PMV) to be donated by Australia to the government of Ukraine have departed Amberley aboard a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport.
The vehicles – drawn from Australian Army stocks and hastily modified by Army and Thales Australia staff in Brisbane – have been re-painted from white and AUSCAM schemes to olive green to match other Ukrainian Army vehicles and had Australian-specific equipment removed, and will be delivered to Ukraine three or four at a time over the next few weeks.
The donation comes after an appeal to the Australian parliament from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 31 March, and follows at least four flights conducted to date by RAAF C-17s into eastern Poland to deliver weapons, armour and helmets, ammunition, and humanitarian aid to Ukrainian forces.
“The Australian Government will provide further support to the Government of Ukraine by gifting 20 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, including two ambulance variants, to aid the Government of Ukraine’s response to Russia’s unrelenting and illegal aggression,” an 8 April joint statement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton reads.
“The Bushmaster was built in Australia to provide protected mobility transport, safely moving soldiers to a battle area prior to dismounting for close combat,” it says. “The Bushmaster is well suited to provide protection to the Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers and Ukrainian civilians against mines and improvised explosive devices, shrapnel from artillery and small arms fire.”