Australia has dispatched the first four of 14 M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APC) to Ukraine to strengthen its defence capabilities and help it respond to Russian aggression.
The APCs are part of the Australian Government’s A$285m ($197.62m) worth of military aid to arm the war-torn nation.
A Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft carrying the APCs left RAAF Base Amberley for Ukraine.
The aid package also includes Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, M777 howitzers, anti-armour weapons, uncrewed aerial systems, and necessary personal equipment.
In April 2022, the Government of Australia announced its plans to supply 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to Ukraine.
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The Bushmaster is equipped with radios, a global positioning system, and bolt-on armour, and is expected to enhance the Ukrainian army’s capabilities.
The personnel carriers and weapon systems are being delivered following a request by the Ukrainian Defence Minister for more military assistance, said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Albanese added: “Australia, like many nations, condemns the continuing unwarranted aggression of Russia against the people of Ukraine.
“Our nation has stood by Ukraine since the beginning of this unlawful conflict, and we are proud to be able to provide access to significant capabilities, such as the armoured personnel carriers, that have travelled in the past week.”
The AS4 is an advanced variant of the M113 model. In 2012, as many as 433 M113A1 vehicles of the Australian Army were upgraded to meet AS4 standards.
Since then, the modernised armoured personnel carriers have been catering to the needs of the Australian Defence Force.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “Australia stands with Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust, and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
Several countries are continuing to provide military security assistance for Ukraine.
Last week, the UK Government acquired over 20 M109 155mm self-propelled howitzers for the Ukrainian armed forces.