A RAAF E-7A Wedgetail has deployed to Germany in support of multinational efforts helping to protect a vital gateway of international humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine.
CAPTION: As part of Australia’s continued support to Ukraine, a RAAF E-7A Wedgetail has been deployed to help protect a vital gateway of international humanitarian and military assistance. Photo by Lance Corporal Riley Blennerhassett.
The aircraft has arrived at Ramstein Air Base to begin a six-month deployment under Operation Kudu.
Up to 100 ADF personnel have deployed with the aircraft.
This mission was first announced in July.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia remained steadfast in supporting Ukraine.
“I’m proud to confirm the E-7A Wedgetail has arrived in Germany to commence its important mission,” Mr Albanese said.
“Australia is honoured to provide this aircraft to help protect the vital lifeline of humanitarian aid and military assistance entering Ukraine.”
The Wedgetail deployment delivers on the government’s commitment made ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
The Australian aircraft will not be involved in the conflict in Ukraine, and will not operate inside Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian airspace, and ADF personnel and assets will not enter Ukraine during the deployment.
In addition, the Australian government will provide a further $20 million of military assistance to Ukraine, with the support of local defence industry.
De-mining equipment, portable x-ray machines, a 3D metal printer and counter drone systems are some of the Australian-developed equipment – made by DroneShield, Micro-X, Minelab and SPEE3D – that will contribute to Ukraine’s defence.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said Australia’s defence industry had many ground-breaking companies providing unique solutions.
“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.
This support will take Australia’s overall assistance to about $910 million, including the provision of Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, heavy artillery, ammunition and contributions to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.