Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Arms From Down Under: Australia’s Aid To Ukraine


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Australia has proven that distance is not an excuse when it comes to supporting a friendly country in need. Having contributed $388 million in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Australia is currently the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine's defence needs. [1] Considering furthermore that a large part of Australia's military aid consists of bulky armoured vehicles, all of which have to be transported to Europe by air, Australia's efforts at keeping Ukraine in the fight are nothing short of impressive.
 
A total of 28 M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 60 Bushmaster MRAPs have so far been delivered or promised to Ukraine by Australia. The M113AS4s are significantly more capable than the older M113 variants pledged by the U.S., Portugal and Lithuania, having been upgraded with a new engine and transmission, suspension, ballistic protection and a turret housing a 12.7mm M2 HMG. The Bushmasters are protected against the threat of IEDs and have been fitted with an EOS R400S-Mk2 remote weapon station (RWS) equipped with an 7.62mm M240C LMG.
 
Australia has also joined the U.S. and Canada in delivering 155mm M777 howitzers to Ukraine. A total of six M777A2 howitzers (out of 54 currently owned by Australia) were supplied in May 2022. Further military aid has consisted of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles and radar systems, although details on their type and numbers are currently lacking. [2] [3] Some $50 million worth of lethal military equipment (said to include rockets and munitions) has also found its way to Ukraine in the past several months. [4]

In addition to providing lethal military equipment to Ukraine, Australia has also delivered ''tactical decoys'' to the Ukrainian Army. [2] These likely consist of T-72-series, BMP-series and air defence systems fabricated by the Australian company GaardTech. These decoys could lure Russian helicopters, drones and artillery into attacking them, potentially saving the real vehicle or system located closeby, and even causing Russian assets to expose themselves. Additional batches of military aid by Australia are likely as the Russo-Ukrainian War shows no sign of abating, with large numbers of M113s available for transfer as they're soon to be replaced in Australian service by the KF41/AS21 IFV.

'United with Ukraine' stickering on an Australian M777A2 howitzer bound to Ukraine.

The following list attempts to keep track of military equipment delivered or pledged to Ukraine by Australia during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The entries below are sorted by armament category (with a flag denoting the country of origin). Note that due to the confidential nature of some arms deliveries they can serve only as a lower bound to the total volume of weaponry delivered. This list will be updated as further military support is declared or uncovered.
 
(Click on the vehicle or equipment type to get a picture of them)
 

Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs)

  • 28 M113AS4 [Delivered from June 2022 onwards]

Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles


Towed Artillery

 

Reconnaissance UAVs


Radars


Small Arms (Delivered along with ammunition)


Miscellaneous Equipment



Answering The Call: Heavy Weaponry Supplied To Ukraine