Australia continues to stand by Ukraine in its time of need, sending an E-7A Wedgetail aircraft to Germany to support the lifeline of humanitarian aid and military assistance to Ukraine.
This deployment, along with an investment in equipment, underscores Australia’s support for Ukraine.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed Australia’s commitment to Ukraine, stating, “I’m proud to confirm the E-7A Wedgetail has arrived in Germany to commence its important mission. Australia is honoured to provide this aircraft to help protect the vital lifeline of humanitarian aid and military assistance entering Ukraine.”
This deployment aligns with Australia’s promise ahead of Prime Minister Albanese’s visit to the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
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According to GlobalData’s “Australia Defense Market 2023-2028” report, Australia’s Air Force possesses six of the AEW&C E-7A Aircraft, following the procurement of the Wedgetail from Boeing between the years of 2012 and 2015.
The E-7A Wedgetail has landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where it will embark on a six-month deployment as part of Operation Kudu. Accompanying the aircraft are up to 100 Australian Defence Force personnel.
The E-7A Wedgetail will not participate in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, nor will it operate within the airspace of Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine. Australian personnel and assets will not enter Ukrainian territory during this deployment, as it is primarily focused on providing support from a neighbouring nation.
In addition to the deployment of the E-7A Wedgetail, the Australian Government is allocating an additional $20m (A$31.6m) for military assistance to Ukraine, with the aid of the local defence industry.
This support package includes a range of Australian-developed equipment from companies such as DroneShield, Micro-X, Minelab, and SPEE3D. The items to be provided are de-mining equipment, portable X-ray machines, a 3D metal printer, and counter-drone systems, all of which will enhance Ukraine’s defence capabilities.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy highlighted the solutions offered by the local defence industry, noting, “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.”
This additional support brings Australia’s overall assistance to Ukraine to approximately $910m. This aid includes providing Bushmaster-protected mobility vehicles, heavy artillery, ammunition, and contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.
Australia’s commitment demonstrates the solidarity of nations in safeguarding Ukraine’s access to humanitarian and military resources during these challenging times.
In 2014, Boeing Defense Australia secured a $901m contract extension from the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation to continue supporting the Royal Australian Air Force’s E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft fleet.