More than 30 additional armoured vehicles will be delivered to Ukraine as part of a new military support package from the Commonwealth government.
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Minister for Defence Peter Dutton has announced 14 M113 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and a further 20 Thales-built Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMVs) would be gifted to Ukraine in support of its ongoing resistance to Russian aggression.
This builds on the 20 Bushmasters, including two ambulance variants, initially delivered to Ukraine following a request from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, taking the total number of PMVs gifted to the country to 40.
The first tranche of Bushmasters were painted olive green to better suit Ukraine’s battlefield environment, with a Ukrainian flag painted on either side alongside “United with Ukraine” in English and Ukrainian while the ambulance variants will represent the standard Red Cross.
The vehicles were furnished with radio, GPS and “additional bolt-on armour”, with training of the systems conducted via video.
This latest government support package also includes the supply of three pallets of radiation monitoring equipment and personal protective equipment, arranged by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
Additionally, Australia has committed to delivering 60 pallets of medical supplies donated by Australian citizens.
The total value of this latest support package is approximately $60.9 million, with the 14 APCs costing an estimated $12 million and the 20 PMVs $48.9 million.
This takes the total value of Australia’s contribution to Ukraine’s resistance to $285 million.
“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,” Minister Dutton noted in a statement.
“Australia stands with the people of Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
The government has stated it will not disclose specific details of the package, or delivery arrangements, at the direct request of Ukrainian officials and other partners.