Following Ukrainian’s request, Australia has decided to contribute 20 locally built Bushmasters, including two ambulance variants to Ukraine. The mine resistant, ambush protected Bushmasters will provide ballistic protection to Ukraine with exceptional off-road mobility capability. Each Bushmaster can carry 10 people and sustain them for three days. Additionally, these can aid the army in ‘comfortable medical evacuations’ besides safeguarding them against improvised explosive devices, said GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

GlobalData estimates that there are about 1,691 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) with the Australian inventory, 985 of which are Bushmasters. However, it is also known that there are additional Bushmasters in reserve, as surplus.

Rouble, Defence Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Australia has been in support of Ukraine against Russia’s aggression since the beginning. The APCs are a perfect fit for the Ukrainian armed forces as they have served in several combat missions. They are well suited for easy troop transportation and weapons deployment. Moreover, the 4×4 capabilities help the vehicle to traverse through any terrain.”

Australia is also providing Kiev with significant amount of lethal military aid, with a US$19.7 million (A$26.5 million) package of anti-armour weaponry and ammunition for the armed forces. Australia’s total military aid provided to Ukraine now accounts for US$141.9 million (A$191.5 million).

However, Australia has announced that the ‘first batch of Bushmasters’ has already left Australia, painted olive green and the Ukrainian flag painted on either side with the message written as “United with Ukraine” in English and Ukrainian. Australia is also delivering 70,000 tonnes of coal, on top of US$48.3 million (A$65 million) in humanitarian assistance to protect women, children, and the elderly, along with food, shelter, and emergency medical supplies.

Rouble concludes: “Australia already has imposed significant sanctions on Russia as a part of coordinated western effort to punish Russia’s invasion. Australian military assistance will scale up the capabilities of Ukraine’s armed forces in the battlefield.”

APDR Newsletter

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