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Australia to return home surveillance aircraft providing support to Ukraine

Australia to return home surveillance aircraft providing support to Ukraine Photo: Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail aircraft (
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Australia is going to repatriate a surveillance plane that helped protect the delivery of military and humanitarian goods to Ukraine. At the same time, Canberra denies that this is part of any wider reduction in support for Kyiv, according to The Guardian.

The Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail, which has been flying regular threat-monitoring flights since it was sent to Germany in October, is likely to end its current role within weeks.

The Wedgetail, based on the Boeing 737-700, is equipped with a long-range radar and is capable of simultaneously tracking air and sea targets, the RAAF says.

It was initially deployed in response to a US request.

The US is understood not to have requested an extension to the deployment beyond April, and there will be no gap in Western monitoring as a result of Australia's termination of the mission.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Defense said Wedgetail helped protect the flow of international aid to Ukraine by "providing early warning in the unlikely event of an act or threat from Russia, outside of Ukraine, against the gateway of humanitarian and military assistance."

Asked whether Australia would extend the deployment deadline, a spokesperson said "any future requests for support" from Australia's international partners "considered in the usual way".

Australia's aid

Even though Australia is far from Ukraine, it helps Ukrainians and condemns the Russian invasion. Canberra provided military and financial aid and sent instructors to train the Ukrainian military.

Australian mining tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Forrest and his ex-wife Nicola have allocated 5 million Australian dollars through their foundation Minderoo to help demining agricultural areas of Ukraine.

Recently, Australia allocated financial assistance to support the defense of Ukraine. It is about more than 32 million dollars.

Recently, Ukraine's ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnychenko, said that Canberra should change its approach to helping Ukraine and provide it with Abrams tanks, as well as money.