Belgian Defense to offer first batch of 40 to 50 M113 APCs to Ukraine after refurbishment by John Cockerill

On the proposal of the Belgian Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder, the Council of Ministers approved, on June 16, 2023, the 15th aid package for Ukraine. The Defense will provide M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (starting with a first batch of 40 to 50 units) decommissioned by an undisclosed (European) army that will be refurbished by the Belgian industry, more precisely John Cockerill company.
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M113 APC. By choosing to show an Israeli one, Army Recognition intends to avoid unveiling the actual origin of the M113s purchased by Belgium and that will be refurbished by John Cockerill in view of their delivery to the Ukrainian army (Picture source: Wikipedia)

Following last week's agreement, which provided for the purchase and delivery of more than 32 million euros of 105 mm ammunition to Ukraine, a new aid package was approved on June 16, for a value of more than 11 million euros. Belgium will buy and supply troop carriers to Ukraine. The vehicles, most of which are already in excellent condition, will be restored to operational condition by the Belgian industry so that they can be delivered to Ukraine. This restoration represents at least one year of work for the company. The vehicles will probably be delivered by then, as and when they are restored to operational condition.

Ludivine Dedonder, Minister of Defence: "Belgium was one of the first countries to provide military aid to Ukraine following the invasion of Russia, whether it was lethal aid or not lethal. As I have always said, we are looking for solutions based on Ukraine's concrete request, using our own defense stocks and/or in collaboration with the Belgian industry. This assistance is always coordinated with our partner countries that are part of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG). I repeat that support for Ukraine is not a competition between partner countries but the result of a coherent approach aimed at best meeting the needs on the ground. This new aid package is completely in line with this logic".

Army Recognition assumes that the refurbishment of this first batch of M113s represents several months of work for John Cockerill but at least some of them will already be delivered in 2023, if not all. As even the Ukrainians expect the war will last several years (who knows?), more M113s might later be purchased by Belgium and refurbished too. These APCs are already in reasonably good condition, not derelict.

Defense News June 2023