Australia has sent the first four of a planned 14 M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carriers being donated to Ukraine.
The armored vehicles were loaded onto a Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft and took off from Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley last week, the Australian Department of Defence announced on Sunday.
Canberra has committed over 285 million Australian dollars ($198.6 million) in a military assistance package, which includes Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, M777 Howitzers, anti-armor weapons, ammunition, drones, and a range of personal equipment.
The shipment is in response to a request by Ukraine’s minister of defense for more vehicles to assist in the country’s resistance to the continuing Russian invasion “and demonstrates Australia’s sustained commitment to the people of Ukraine,” according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
“Australia, like many nations, condemns the continuing unwarranted aggression of Russia against the people of Ukraine,” Albanese said.
He went on to state how the nation has stood by Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict and expressed pride in being able to offer advanced military capabilities to the Eastern European country.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles added that Australia would continue to search for ways to provide the most effective assistance while calling on Russia to abandon “its unprovoked, unjust, and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carrier
Australia’s M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carrier is designed to transport battlefield infantry soldiers and has a long tradition of service with the Australian Defence Force.
The indigenously-developed AS4 troop transport is an updated version of the “highly effective” M113 series deployed with the Australian Army and other countries’ armed services since the 1960s.
“Along with the proven Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, the M113AS4s will provide valuable protected mobility for Ukraine forces, joining similar capabilities being gifted from across the globe,” the department stated.