Australia has announced it will bring home the remains of up to 25 Australian soldiers killed about 50 years ago during the Vietnam War.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday that the government would bring the bodies back except in cases where their families wanted the graves left undisturbed.

Australia began bringing back the remains of its war dead killed in foreign countries in January 1966, but the 25 Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War before the policy change were left buried in cemeteries in Malaysia and Singapore, despite their families' objections.

Australia deployed more than 60,000 military personnel to the Vietnam conflict between 1962 and 1973, of whom 521 were killed.