Australia announces delivery of 14 M113 tracked APCs and 20 Bushmaster armored vehicles to Ukraine

According to information published by "The Australian" newspaper website on May 18, 2022, Australian Minister for Defense Peter Dutton has announced a new military aid for Ukraine with the delivery of 14 M113 tracked Armored Personnel Carrier vehicles and 20 Bushmaster 4x4 armored vehicles.
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An Australian Army M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier lands on Forrest Beach, Queensland, as part of an amphibious assault activity, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.( Picture source Australian MoD)

From the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Australia was one of the first countries to respond to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's request for military aid. Australia has already delivered to Ukraine anti-armor weapons, ammunitions, 20 Bushmaster 4x4 armored vehicles, and M777 155mm towed howitzers. This brings Australia’s total military assistance to date to approximately $191.5 million. The first batch of Australian Bushmaster 4x4 armored vehicles for Ukraine were delivered in April 2022.

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. Other countries have also planned or have already sent armored vehicles of the M113 type including Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United States.

Australia has launched a program to replace its fleet of M113 with a new tracked Armored Infantry Fighting (IFV) vehicle under the LAND 400 Phase 3 program. The new IFVs will replace the current M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers that have been in service since the mid-1960s and are no longer able to counter the current and emerging threats presented in our operating environment.

The Bushmaster is a 4x4 armored vehicle that was developed and designed by Thales Australia to provide a new highly mobile, ballistics, mine and improvised explosive device (IED) blast resistant Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV). In APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) version, the vehicle has a crew of two and the rear part of the hull can accommodate up to 8 infantrymen.

According to the military balance 2021, the Australian army has a total of 431 M113AS4 is an Australian-made upgrade of the old M113AS1 and M113AS3 which are based on the American M113A1 tracked armored personnel carrier (APC), one of the most popular light tracked APC in the world.

The design of the Australian M113AS4 is similar to the American M113A1 but was upgraded with add-on ceramic armor to provide 360° protection against weapons of 14.5mm caliber. The hull was also reinforced with additional protection against landmines and IEDs blast. It has a crew of three and the troop's compartment located at the rear of the vehicle can accommodate a total of 10 infantrymen.

Australian M777 155mm howitzers and Bushamster armored vehicles are on the way to Ukraine 925 002
An Australian Government-donated Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle is loaded onto an Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland.. (Picture source Australia