Australia asked to send Bushmasters to Ukraine


The Australian developed and built Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle may be on its way to Ukranian forces following a plea from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy made direct in a speech to federal parliament.

Speaking through an interpreter the khaki-clad president said some of the more than 1,000 Bushmasters serving in Australia would ‘do much more for our common freedom and security than staying parked on your land’.

Zelenskiy said the priority was to keep Ukrainian troops fighting against an evil Russia.

“For example you have very good armoured personnel vehicles, Bushmasters, that could help Ukraine substantially, and other pieces of equipment that could strengthen our position in terms of armament.

“If you have an opportunity to share this with us we would be very grateful.”

Asked if the government would consider sending Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham later did not rule out a transfer of Bushmasters to follow earlier shipments of missiles and humanitarian aid.

Birmingham said: “We’ll continue to work closely with Ukraine in terms of what Australia can most practically, and most beneficially, provide to support Ukraine.”

1,052 Bushmasters in total have been ordered by the Australian Defence Force, serving over the past two decades in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Considered to be one of the best vehicles in the world to protect troops from improvised explosive devices, they are transportable via our C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft.

While Australian troops have been wounded in the Bushmaster, no troops have died in a Bushmaster.

Australia’s Bushmasters are set up for a number of tasks with some fitted with remote weapons stations capable of carrying machine guns, grenade launchers and cannon which can be operated by soldiers from inside their vehicle.

Manufactured by Electro Optic Systems in Canberra, the CROWS RWS can also fire an anti-tank missile.

Bushmaster is manufactured at Thales Australia’s factory at Bendigo, Victoria which is currently producing another Australian design – the Hawkei light four-wheel drive protected mobility vehicle.

Thales Australia has been contacted for comment.

Picture: Electro Optic Systems

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