Australian defence industry backs $20 million aid package for Ukraine

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The Australian Government, in collaboration with the local defence industry, announced a further $20 million package of military assistance to Ukraine, including a range of Australian-developed equipment that will contribute to Ukraine’s defence efforts.

Among the equipment provided are de-mining tools, portable x-ray machines, a 3D metal printer, and counter-drone systems, the government revealed in a media release.

These state-of-the-art tools are manufactured by four innovative Australian defence industry companies such as DroneShield, Micro-X, Minelab, and SPEE3D.

According to the government, this latest commitment brings Australia’s total assistance to Ukraine to approximately $910 million.

This includes the supply of Bushmaster-protected mobility vehicles, heavy artillery, essential ammunition, and contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.

Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail aircraft has been deployed to Germany to support multinational efforts aimed at safeguarding a vital gateway for international humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine.

The deployment of the E-7A aircraft aligns with the government’s commitment, which was made in advance of the Prime Minister’s visit to the NATO Summit in Vilnius.

The aircraft has arrived at Ramstein Air Base for a six-month deployment under Operation Kudu, accompanied by up to 100 Australian Defence Force personnel.

The government emphasised that the E-7A Wedgetail will not participate in the conflict in Ukraine, and Australian Defence Force personnel and assets will not enter Ukrainian territory during the deployment.

The aircraft will also not operate within Russian, Belarusian, or Ukrainian airspace.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his commitment to supporting Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s unlawful invasion.

“This contribution will provide Ukraine with some of the best capabilities in the world, while investing in Australia’s sovereign defence industry and technology sector,” Albanese said.

He added, “I’m proud to confirm the E-7A Wedgetail has arrived in Germany to commence its important mission. Australia is honoured to provide this aircraft to help protect the vital lifeline of humanitarian aid and military assistance entering Ukraine.”

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles underscored Australia’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We are proud to see Australian companies helping international efforts to support Ukraine to end Russia’s illegal invasion, on its own terms,” Marles remarked.

Meanwhile, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy lauded the groundbreaking local defence industry and thanked them for their assistance.

“Our local defence industry has so many groundbreaking companies providing unique solutions like this, and I want to thank them for their assistance,” the minister stated.

He added, “3D metal printers can be used to print spare parts, while de-mining and portable X-Ray equipment can provide life-saving assistance for Ukrainian personnel on the battlefield.”