Australian M777 155mm howitzers and Bushmaster armored vehicles are on the way to Ukraine

According to information released by the Australian Department of Defense on May 6, 2022, using AN-124 cargo aircraft, a new flight departed from the military base Amberley on May 5, 2022, to Europe with M777 155mm towed howitzers and Australian-built Bushmaster 4x4 Protected Mobility Vehicles for Ukraine.
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An Australian Government-donated M777 155mm lightweight towed howitzer for Ukraine is loaded onto an Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft at Australian Air Force Base Amberley in Queensland. (Picture source Australian DoD)

The AN-124 cargo aircraft is one of the largest commercially-produced aircraft in the world and is routinely used by Australia and its partners to move oversize or large consignments of military supplies.

This latest airlift follows the Australian Government announcements on the gifting of 20 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, including 14 with Protected Weapon Systems and two ambulance variants, and six M777 howitzers with ammunition to aid the Government of Ukraine’s response to Russia’s unrelenting and illegal aggression. Australia has also contributed anti-armor weapons and ammunition, military equipment, combat rations, medical supplies, and financial contributions to NATO’s trust for Ukraine.

The Australian Government will expand its support to Ukraine and impose further punitive actions on Russia in response to its unrelenting and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The M777 is a 155mm towed howitzer which is in service with the Australian armed forces. In April 2022, the Australian Government took the decision to deliver six M777 155mm lightweight towed howitzers and ammunition to Ukraine as part of a 26.7 million Australian dollar ($19 million) package to bolster the country’s defenses against the Russian invasion.

The M777 is used to provide direct fire support to combat troops through offensive and defensive fires with conventional and precision-guided projectiles. It can also employ illuminating and smoke projectiles. It has an effective firing range of 24 km using conventional rounds and 30 km with improved rounds

Australian M777 155mm howitzers and Bushamster armored vehicles are on the way to Ukraine 925 002
An Australian Government-donated Bushmaster 4x4 protected mobility vehicle for Ukraine is loaded onto an Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft at Australian Air Force Base Amberley in Queensland. (Picture source Australia DoD)

The Bushmaster is a 4x4 armored vehicle primarily designed for the Australian army and is currently produced by Thales Australia with a support contract provided by Oshkosh Truck following the acquisition of ADI. The vehicle is currently in service with Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia, Fiji, Jamaica Defense Force, New Zealand and now the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The design of the Bushmaster is standard for a modern wheeled combat vehicle with an engine at the front, crew cabin in the middle,, and troops compartment at the rear. The driver and commander are seated at the front with large bulletproof windows to their front and sides. The Bushmaster carries a total of 8 fully equipped infantrymen.

The monocoque hull of the Bushmaster is of all-welded steel armor construction, which provides protection from both anti-vehicular and anti-personnel mines containing up to 9.5 kg of TNT, together with protection from 5.56 and 7.62 mm small arms fire.