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Ilya Tsukanov
Ilya Tsukanov
Ilya Tsukanov is a Moscow-based correspondent specializing in Eastern European, US and Middle Eastern politics, Cold War history, energy security and military affairs. Member of the Sputnik team since the site's inception in 2014.

Donated Australian military equipment to Ukraine ‘worse than useless’

Australian military news
A US M113, seen here deployed in Iraq.

Australia announced an AUD $110 million (USD $74 million) military aid package to Ukraine this week including 28 M113 armored vehicles, 28 MAN 40M medium trucks, and 14 special ops vehicles.

Unfortunately for ordinary Ukrainian troops, experience has shown Aussie vehicles to be worse than useless against Russian forces.

A scandal is brewing in Australia over Canberra’s decision to pawn its Vietnam War-vintage military equipment off on Kiev, with local military experts questioning how the aid that has been announced could possibly add up to $110 million AUD, while opposition leader Peter Dutton said it’s “frankly embarrassing” that Australia is sending equipment to Ukraine that’s so clearly “not fit for purpose.”

“You can’t just clear out the garage from Defense of old vehicles that you don’t want anymore. That’s not the response of a developed nation like ours,” Dutton said, dubbing the aid package the equivalent of a “garage sale.”

The media has had a field day attacking the Albanese government, characterizing the assistance – particularly the M113s, as absolute “obsolete boneyard vehicles” from the Vietnam War era that would have little impact on the Ukrainian battlefield. Other observers said Canberra’s “stingy” “hand-me-down aid” is fueling perceptions of Australia as “using Ukraine as a dumping ground.”

Dutton suggested that instead of sending the 1964-vintage M113s, Canberra should give Kiev its newer Hawkei light four-wheel-drive protected mobility vehicles, produced by Thales Australia, and ramp up production so that Australia’s own military “doesn’t go without.”

Is the M113 Really That Bad?

“The M113 is a fairly old armored personnel carrier on a tracked chassis, which has participated in many conflicts, not just the Vietnam War, but also the wars in the Persian Gulf, and other military campaigns involving the United States and its allies,” veteran Russian military expert Alexey Leonkov, editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, told Sputnik. “They were generally successful in these wars, as well as local conflicts which we can characterize as colonial wars. That is, the losses were not so great,” the observer explained.

“But in Ukraine, these APCs showed from their very first deliveries that they cannot withstand the intensity of the conflict,” with armor vulnerable to heavy weapons, including the 30mm automatic guns fitted to Russian attack helicopters, Leonkov said.

In other words, the expert noted, if the main purpose of an armored transport is to safely deliver troops to the frontline, in the case of the M113, doing so is possible only by happy accident, and if Ukrainian forces don’t happen to run into heavily-equipped Russian forces.

“That is, in the majority of cases, if such an APC finds itself in a zone of heavy fire, the best thing that Ukrainian troops and mercenaries can do is to leave the vehicle.

Because if someone stays behind and hopes that the M113’s aluminum armor will save them, they’ll play too high a price. We’ve seen a great deal of footage from the front lines showing these APCs knocked out, stuck in off-road conditions. They’ve proven absolutely unsuitable for this theater of operations,” Leonkov said.

Ultimately, Leonkov said, Australia, the US, NATO, and the West in general have indeed used Ukraine as a dumping ground for their “armored junk,” allowing them to clear out inventories as the military-industrial complex ramps up production of modern equipment. “They’re profiting on it. But of course, this is profit gained on the blood of Ukrainian service members. But Australia, like other countries supplying weapons to Ukraine, is absolutely not interested in this.”

Recent reports that Australia sent over AUD $70 million of its military assistance to Ukraine without formal approval, declarations, or export permits is further confirmation of such profiteering, since shipping junked vehicles to Ukraine is cheaper than having to recycle them domestically, according to Leonkov.

“If Australia’s anti-corruption legislation really works, if it is serious, I think they’ll sort it out. If they don’t, we can confidently say that such legislation is merely a formality,” the observer summed up.

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  1. Warfare is past the era of tracked vehicles, and some armoured wheeled-vehicles. (see the UAE movie titled ‘Ambushed’.)
    This is now predictive programming as per ‘Star Wars’ and it’s sequel of the Drone Wars.
    Nuclear and Thermobaric Hypersonic and Cruise Missiles alongside Artillery, with conventional Big Blue 82’s, Bunker-Busters, Cyber-Warfare, AI, and Directed Energy Weapons from inside and outside the atmosphere are the weapons of choice now for modern warfare.
    Aircraft are now rendered only minimally effective, and only then as a ‘Stand-Off & Shoot’ platform in most cases.
    AirLand Tactics and Strategies are now encompassing trench warfare that is still proven ineffective in most cases.
    Nazi Zionist Zelensky should have been deposed long ago, but Victoria Nuland (Zionist), Avril Haynes (Zionist) and the Biden Crime Family that sits in the Executive Branch (all J3w$ and / or Zionists, or BOTH) has sealed the fate of the West via Talmudic and Noahide Modus-Operandi means as per the Little Red Book of Communism circa 1920 by the Bolsheviks that is now upgraded and expanded in textual form.
    Just look at Chippy the Hipster’s behaviour when he met with the WEF (UN-reported in the MSM) and the Communist Chinese…
    Please vote for either the New Conservatives, NZ First, or the Outdoors & Freedom Party,
    Do NOT vote Nazional, Labour, the Greens or DemocracyNZ, the latter operating like the Masonic Lodge with secrecy of board meetings kept from it’s candidates.

  2. APC’s in Vietnam had sandbags on the floor due to the risks of mines blowing thru the aluminum floor…
    Even that had minimum effect when land mines went off under the tracks.
    I’m living proof of how both the tracked vehicles and policies failed in Vietnam.
    This is attrition so that the M&IC can build new items and insiders will make billions of $’s from new ‘Force Modernisation Contracts’…!
    THEY will make tone of money at our expense, just like Israel does!!!
    At age 76 in declining health, I have nothing to lose in going into combat one final time to stop these bastards from injuring and killing my grandchildren, even with an artificial leg!

    • i just hope that the US $ derails badly and become worthless. SOON
      Only this will save our children and grand children.
      Without money they wont be able to buy and import material to make instruments of death.

  3. Ukraine is involved in narcotics child trafficking money laundering corruption and fraud
    NZ is along for the ride to make Uncle Sam look respectable and to give credibility
    Squeaky clean means there’s no sh#t left
    NZ is a participant in crimes against humanity
    Ukrainian soldiers are being slaughtered by the thousands
    Needless to say the effects upon the civilian population
    Peace could have been achievable
    Albeit through US lackey Boris Johnson sticking his snout in and derailing the peace process
    Which was the intent behind the Minsk Agreements which Russia entered into in good faith
    But which turned out to be a farce and deception
    Only to gain more time to bring the Ukrainian Army up to NATO standards


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