Anthony Albanese boosts military aid to Ukraine by $20 million – as Australian total nears $1billion mark

Australia is sending a 3D metal printer and anti-drone systems to Ukraine as part of a $20 million military assistance package, pushing overall aid to the war-torn country to nearly $1billion.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the package and said Australia remained committed to backing Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia. 

‘Australia remains steadfast in supporting Ukraine to defend itself against Russia‘s illegal and immoral invasion,’ he said on Wednesday as materiel from local military industry companies were detailed.

‘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.’

This latest package brings Australia’s total support to the country to $910million. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) met with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy (right) on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Lithuania earlier this year

The package includes de-mining equipment, portable x-ray machines, a 3D metal printer and counter-drone systems.

These supplies have been developed by Australian firms DroneShield, Micro-X, Minelab and SPEE3D.

The Albanese government said a Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail aircraft has been deployed to Germany in support of efforts to help protect a gateway of international humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine.

‘Australia is honoured to provide this aircraft to help protect the vital lifeline of humanitarian aid and military assistance entering Ukraine,’ the prime minister said. 

The aircraft has already landed at Ramstein Air Base to begin a six-month deployment under Operation Kudu.

Up to 100 Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed with the military plane.

Both the aircraft and ADF personnel will not be involved in the conflict in Ukraine. 

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

This deployment delivers on Australia’s commitment made ahead of Mr Albanese’s visit to the NATO Summit in Lithuania in July, officials said.

Mr Albanese said Australia remained committed to supporting Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia

Mr Albanese said Australia remained committed to supporting Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia

The package also includes a further $20 million of military assistance to the Ukraine, with the support of local defence industry. 

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy thanked the Australian companies who contributed to providing assistance.

‘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,’ he said.

Australia has previously sent over Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, heavy artillery and critical ammunition to the war-torn country.

The government has also made contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.