Australian M113’s join Bushmasters in Ukraine

The first four M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers being gifted to Ukraine departed RAAF Base Amberley last week where they will join other Australian equipment including Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles.

Loaded into a Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft, the four vehicles are the first of 14 M113AS4s to be provided by Australia as part of a $284 million military assistance package that includes M777 Howitzers, anti-armour weapons, ammunition, unmanned aerial systems and personal equipment.

The M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier is a longstanding in-service ADF armoured fighting vehicle, designed to transport infantry soldiers on the battlefield.

Based on the American M113A1 tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC), the AS4 upgrade was developed by Australia and installed by BAE Systems.

A decade long project to upgrade 433 M113 vehicles began in 2002, with the first completed vehicle delivered to the customer in January 2007.

While the M113 is considered obsolete because of its vulnerability to improvised explosive devices, it is still in service in Australia, though has not recently been deployed in the field.

Most recently BAE Systems has converted a number of M113s to fully autonomous operation, though these are not the ones being supplied to Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the latest shipment of military assistance responds to a direct request by the minister of defence of Ukraine for additional vehicles and demonstrates Australia’s sustained commitment to the people of Ukraine.

Marles said: “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.

“Australia stands with Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Picture: Defence/M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier

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