The first four M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) being gifted to Ukraine departed Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley last week. Loaded into a Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 large, strategic airlift, four-engined aircraft , the four vehicles are the first of 14 M113AS4s to be provided by Australia. The Australian government’s military assistance package consists of over AUD 285 million worth of support including Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, M777 Lightweight Towed Howitzers; anti-armour weapons, ammunition, unmanned aerial systems and a range of personal equipment.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese said,”The latest shipment of military assistance responds to a direct request by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine for additional vehicles and demonstrates Australia’s sustained commitment to the people of Ukraine. Australia, like many nations, condemns the continuing unwarranted aggression of Russia against the people of Ukraine.”
Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon. Richard Marles added “We will continue to look at ways we can best help the people of Ukraine. Australia stands with Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier (APC) that was developed and produced by the FMC Corporation. The M113 was first used in combat in April 1962 after the United States provided the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) with heavy weaponry such as the M113, under the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) program. Eventually, the M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War and was used to break through heavy thickets in the midst of the jungle to attack and overrun enemy positions. It was largely known as an “APC”. The Australian Army refers to its M113A1s as “buckets”, “bush taxis” and modified M113A1s fitted with 76 mm turrets as “beasts”.
The M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier is a longstanding in-service Australian Defence Force (ADF) armoured fighting vehicle capability, designed to transport infantry soldiers on the battlefield. Along with the proven Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, the M113AS4s will provide valuable protected mobility for Ukraine forces, joining similar capabilities being gifted from across the globe. Developed in Australia, the AS4 is a modernised variant based upon the highly effective M113 series which have served the Australian Army. The M113 AS4 will be replaced in coming years by the Infantry Fighting Vehicle capability being delivered under Project LAND 400 Phase 3.