Australia is sending Ukraine 14 M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs), and four of them are already on their way, reported Ukrainian military news site Militarny on June 19.
“The initial four, out of 14, Australian M113AS4 armored vehicles were loaded onto a Ukrainian cargo plane last week and delivered to Ukraine as a part of a military assistance package worth 285 million Australian dollars,” Militarny wrote.
These vehicles have been modernized for the specific needs of the Ukrainian army. They have been equipped with a new turret – a 12.7 mm Browning M2HB-QCB machine gun.
Ukraine will receive more M113 APCs from other partners – the U.S., Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal and Lithuania. Some have already been delivered.
Australia made a pledge to assist Ukraine militarily quite late into the war, but is still making a substantial contribution. On May 19, the Australian Defense Ministry announced it would be delivering 20 Bushmaster armored vehicles and 14 M113 APCs.
M113 APCs are a well-established model of APCs with two dozen military operations in their portfolio. Their significance grew after successful missions in Iraq with the U.S. expeditionary forces there.
The original M113 model was created for the U.S. Army for use in Vietnam, based on transporting marines who needed to travel vast distances along a complicated landscape.
The M113 is able to cross rivers and swamped terrains, carrying a crew of up to 15 passengers.
Besides APCs, Australia will provide the Ukrainian army with radio communication equipment, personal protection equipment, and medical kits.
Overall, this new Australian line of assistance carries a price tag of $60.9 million: $12 million for the M113 APCs, and $48.9 million for the Bushmaster vehicles.
This comes as a part of a larger package of military aid valued at AUD $285 million ($198.8 million).