Australia sends Bushmaster IMVs to Ukraine, then M1A1 Abrams tanks
CAMBERRA, ($1=1.34 AUD) — Australia is preparing to become one of the most important arms suppliers of armored ground equipment needed for the resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces against the Russians. The information comes from Brendan Nicholson and Marcus Helier, who are members of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy.
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They say a Senate hearing on April 1 on Foreign Minister Mariz Payne and Defense Secretary Peter Dutton’s representatives shows that “Bushmasters will be sent to Ukraine.” These are Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles that are in service with the Australian Army.
“You have wonderful Bushmaster armored vehicles that can significantly help Ukraine. As well as other models of equipment and weapons that can strengthen our position. If you have the opportunity, Ukraine will be grateful to you,” said on March 31 the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Australian Senate. It turns out that the Australians seem to have listened to him and agreed with him.
It is not yet clear the entire logistics network that will have to take on such delivery, including the supply of spare parts and the feeling of the Ukrainian military. But Australian experts say the Netherlands has the same armored vehicles [100 units] and both Western democracies [Australia and the Netherlands] can set up a fast logistics supply group.
Nicholson and Helier recall that one RAAF C-17 Globemaster II transport aircraft can deliver four Bushmasters. An air bridge between Europe and Australia can be built in a matter of weeks.
According to experts, Bushmaster IMV is not a game-changing weapon technology, but can significantly improve the performance of Ukrainians against the Russians. Experts recall that these ground armored vehicles are suitable for transporting soldiers from anti-personnel mines, IEDs, small arms such as machine guns and artillery blasts, and fragmentation.
In addition to being able to penetrate the enemy’s rear and deliver troops to fight, the Bushmaster IMV is also perfect for carrying out evacuation operations in heavily shelled areas. But experts warn that these vehicles will not protect the transported passengers, nor will the equipment be spared when hit by a tank shell or missile – all things that the Russians have in abundance.
Then the tanks come
Australia is most likely to send M1A1 Abrams tanks to all countries willing to do the same. Nicholson and Helier say the Ukrainians have proven two things in the war against Russia: they learn quickly and easily operate the equipment provided to them.
“If the provision of Bushmasters to Ukraine proves successful, the next step could be the provision of Abrams tanks,” commented the two members of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy immediately after Zelensky’s speech.
Australia has 59 M1A1 Abrams tanks but has already ordered the latest version of these armored heavy attack weapon systems. “It is better to let the equipment be fought against Russia than to stay in the warehouses,” Zelensky said in a speech, reminding Australians that Australia has not used its tanks since the Vietnam War.
Nicholson and Helier again ruled: “We do not need to send Australian tanks to Ukraine, it is enough for Australia and Poland to agree and Warsaw to provide theirs, which were ordered by the United States.”
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