Defence Forces donates 30 ‘non-lethal’ military vehicles to Ukraine

The convoy, which departs today, includes pick-up trucks, heavy loads trucks and ambulances

The donation of Irish ambulances and recovery and transport vehicles is part of Ireland’s commitment to provide Ukraine with non-lethal military aid. Photograph: Defence Forces

The Defence Forces is launching an operation on Friday to transport dozens of military vehicles to Ukraine to aid in its defensive war against Russia.

The donation of the vehicles is part of Ireland’s commitment to provide Ukraine with non-lethal military aid. It will be by far the largest donation of Irish equipment since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Other donations to date have included two demining vehicles and stocks of body armour and military rations.

The Defence Forces, as part of a wider EU initiative, has also provided several tranches of training to the Ukranian Armed Forces in areas such as combat medicine, ordnance disposal and drill instruction.


The latest donation will see the donation of 20 Ford Ranger trucks, which are used for transport by units including the elite Army Ranger Wing, seven heavy transport trucks, one eight-wheel recovery vehicle and two ambulances.

In total, thirty vehicles will be donated in four convoys between now and mid-July. Fifty-four Defence Forces personnel from the Transport Corps will be involved in the operation, which has been dubbed Operation Carousel.

The convoys will travel by ferry to Dunkirk in France before moving through Belgium, Germany and on to the International Donor Coordination Cell in Rzeszów, Poland. From there they will be distributed to Ukrainian forces. It is understood Irish troops will not enter Ukraine.

The operation was devised following consultation with the EU, the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces, a Department spokeswoman said in a statement.

Military sources said most of the vehicles had already been earmarked for replacement with more modern versions as part of the Defence Forces revitalisation plan which will see a 50 per cent increase in military spending by 2028.

“Ireland remains steadfast in support for the people of Ukraine following the illegal and immoral invasion by Russia and we will continue to provide what support we can as Ukraine defends itself against ongoing aggression,” Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin said on Thursday.

“The donation of these ambulances and transport vehicles is a practical and concrete measure to show that support and is fully consistent with our position of providing non-lethal aid.”

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times