To arms - with the air conditioner: Australia supplies Ukraine with Bushmaster armored personnel carriers

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To arms - with the air conditioner: Australia supplies Ukraine with Bushmaster armored personnel carriers
To arms - with the air conditioner: Australia supplies Ukraine with Bushmaster armored personnel carriers
23 May, 12:17ArmyPhoto: Соцсети
The Australian government announced the readiness of another batch of weapons for Ukraine, which included 20 Australian-made Bushmaster armored personnel carriers, 14 American M113 AS4s, as well as 60 pallets with medicines, radiation control and personal protection equipment

Alexander Sychev

Economically extremely unjustified operation. Transport overheads are considerable, because half the world needs to be overcome. But Canberra clearly does not intend to count Australian dollars when it is necessary to demonstrate allied feelings to Washington, which has clearly favored the fifth continent lately - it develops high-tech and scientific cooperation, distinguishes it from other partners in the Asia-Pacific region in politics.

Canberra delivered the first batch of 20 Bushmaster armored vehicles worth just over A$18 million to the Kyiv regime in early April 2022. Six American M777 towed howitzers and their ammunition cost $19.1 million. The new package is already worth $60.9 million.

Thus, if you count all the deliveries, including the very first ones, consisting of body armor, helmets and other things, Australia spent more than 285 million Australian dollars or over 200 million US dollars. With the costs of Washington and even Germany or France, it cannot be compared, but for Canberra these are not small amounts.

The Bushmaster all-wheel drive armored personnel carrier was developed at that time by the state-owned, and later acquired by the transnational corporation Thales, Australian Defense Industries (ADI). This armored personnel carrier was adopted by the armed forces of Australia in 2000.

The appearance of the car was significantly influenced by the South African Mamba armored car, and this is not surprising. Relations between South Africa and Australia have been good in the past. When the apartheid regime collapsed, many white South Africans moved to live in Australia - similar natural and climatic conditions, a common language.

In addition, both countries professed similar concepts for the tactical use of such machines. The armies of Australia and South Africa needed an armored car not for combat, but for the rapid transfer of soldiers. They needed a "taxi to the battlefield," as they call such vehicles. Probably, the names for their cars were chosen by the South Africans and Australians according to the same principle - from the world of poisonous reptiles.

Therefore, the comfort in the cabin Bushmaster is not inferior to civilian jeeps. Air conditioning provides a pleasant coolness, as it can be very hot in Australia, especially in the north. Two people of the crew of the armored vehicle and seven soldiers are located on safely destructible chairs in order to reduce injuries during an emergency. The interior is designed in such a way that the personal belongings and weapons of each paratrooper are placed directly next to his seat, and roomy overhead compartments are provided along the sides of the hull to accommodate stocks of provisions and ammunition.

All glazing: windshield, two windows in the sides of the hull and one in the aft door, is made of monolithic armored glass.

Access to the car is through a door in the aft armor plate of the hull and through five hatches in the roof. In front of the front hatch there is a slot for installing a machine gun of 5.56 or 7.62 mm caliber.

The welded body of the machine is made of steel armor plates, providing protection from bullets. One of the key requirements for an armored personnel carrier was the survival of the crew and troops when an armored car was blown up by a mine. To meet this requirement, there is a thicker armor plate on the bottom. And it's not uniform. It is especially thick at the locations of the fuel tanks to reduce the chance of the car catching fire.

The ride is soft - the wheel suspension is independent with spring springs, developed by the American company Rockwell International. The steering has a hydraulic booster. The machine is equipped with a centralized tire pressure control system.

The combat weight of the Bushmaster armored vehicle reaches 14 tons, including four tons of payload. Three hundred horsepower from a Caterpillar engine is enough to propel a Bushmaster taxi up to 120 kilometers per hour on the highway. The engine is very economical. At one gas station of 270 liters, the car is able to cover a thousand kilometers.

On the basis of the armored personnel carrier, a command and staff vehicle, a medical transport, a self-propelled artillery mount with an 81-mm mortar, and an engineering vehicle were created. A total of 1,000 Bushmasters are currently in service with Australia.

Compared to Australian armored personnel carriers, American M113s are ancient vehicles. Their first modifications were used even before the Vietnam War, and many remained there after the panicked evacuation of American troops. For the entire period of production, 85 thousand armored personnel carriers were produced.

The Australian family includes six variants: armored personnel carrier, light armored recovery vehicle, ambulance, mortar launcher, vehicle and armored logistics vehicle.

The tracked armored personnel carrier M113 has rolled aluminum armor that is resistant to small arms fire and protects well from shrapnel. The Australians reinforced it with additional ceramic plates.

The new engine with the new gearbox required a 660 mm hull lengthening compared to the classic M113. Accordingly, an additional pair of support wheels had to be installed.

The M113 AS4 has different weapons. The heavy machine gun M2, mounted on the roof of the armored personnel carrier, gave way to a small turret for the shooter. The turret is equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun. The car turned out better than the M113 and was purchased by many countries in the Pacific region. The metropolitan area, Great Britain, also bought.

Although the M113 has been modernized many times, no matter how hard you try, this technique has long been outdated. Wherever she is in service, they are slowly getting rid of her. Australians are no exception. They are currently considering the Finnish Patria AMV35 armored infantry vehicle with a two-man turret and a 35mm cannon, as well as the German Boxer, equipped with a two-crew Lance turret and a 35mm cannon.

Looks like Canberra is leaning towards the German sixteen-wheeler. Apparently, she will win the ongoing competition if someone more influential does not interfere in the game. In general, the contract is planned to be large - 450 infantry fighting vehicles. They will take the American aluminum veterans out of the state.

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