Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will send Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy specifically asked for them while appealing to Australian lawmakers for more help in Ukraine’s war against Russia. Zelenskyy addressed the Australian Parliament on Thursday and asked for Australian-made, four-wheel-drive vehicles. Zelenskyy also has been tailoring his message to individual countries through video appeals like the one shown to legislators in the Australian Parliament. Lawmakers gave him a standing ovation at the start and end of his 16-minute address.
Australia has already promised or provided Ukraine with AU$91 million ($68 million) in military assistance, AU$65 million ($49 million) in humanitarian help and 70,000 metric tons (77,200 U.S. tons) of coal. The government announced Australia was imposing an additional 35% tariff on all imports from Russia and Belarus starting April 25. The Australian and Dutch governments launched a legal case against Russia at the International Civil Aviation Organization to hold Moscow accountable for its alleged role in the missile strike that killed all 298 people on MH17. Of the victims, 196 were Dutch citizens and 38 were Australian residents.
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built four-wheel-drive armoured vehicle. The Bushmaster was primarily designed by the then government-owned Australian Defence Industries (ADI) and is currently produced by Thales Australia with a support contract provided by Oshkosh Truck following the acquisition of ADI. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army, British Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force, Indonesian Army, Fiji Infantry Regiment, Jamaica Defence Force and the New Zealand Army.
The role of the Bushmaster is to provide protected mobility transport (or protected troop lift capability), with infantry dismounting from the vehicle before going into action. As the Bushmaster is lightly armoured, the term Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) was initially adopted to distinguish it from a heavier wheeled or tracked armoured personnel carrier, such as the ASLAV and M113 also in Australian service. The high-hard steel specified for Bushmaster meant that it offered better ballistic and IED protection than existing aluminium alloy clad ASLAVs and M113. Later the Bushmaster’s designation was changed to Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV).