Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s appeal for Australian-made armoured vehicles has been answered, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirming Bushmasters will be sent to assist the fight against Russian forces.
Australia will send a number of Bushmasters to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested assistance.
The armoured vehicles are designed to rapidly deploy up to 10 battle ready troops
Retired Australian Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy says Australia has more than 1,000 Bushmasters.
Mr Zelenskyy addressed the Australian Parliament on Thursday requesting the country sends armoured vehicles and other equipment to strengthen their position.
Mr Zelenskyy specifically requested that Australian-made troop carriers Bushmasters be sent.
What is a Bushmaster?
A Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle is an armoured vehicle designed to carry and rapidly deploy up to 10 battle-ready troops.
The vehicles are designed for all environments and are blast resistant.
Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan describes Bushmasters as a “wonderful Australian-designed and built machine.”
How many does Australia have?
Retired Australian Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy says Australia is in high supply of the vehicles.
“We’ve got over a thousand of them, in fact a number of them are surplus to requirement in the Australian Army, they’re also used by the air force,” Lieutenant General Leahy says.
“Other countries have them in service in small numbers but frankly we have more than we need.”
What makes them so good?
Major General Ryan says one of the appeals of the Bushmaster is that they are not difficult to operate.
“It would be very simple to train Ukrainians to use and maintain them,” Major General Ryan says.
A Bushmaster can sustain itself for a period of up to three days, with a central tyre inflation system allowing them to continue to travel with punctures.
The cabin design means the Bushmaster can serve many roles.
How many will be sent to Ukraine?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn’t said how many vehicles will be sent or when they will be flown to Europe.
They will be flown over on Australia’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft.