The Government of Norway has announced the donation of 22 M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers and ammunition to Ukraine. The donation also includes gear, spare parts and ammunition. The Norwegian Army has recently replaced their M109 artillery guns with new artillery from South Korea, but still has M109 stored. 22 of these have been donated, along with gear, spare parts and ammunition. Norway has also trained Ukranian soldiers on how to use the system. This training has taken place in Germany. The Norwegian government has waited to publicly announce the donation for security reasons.
The artillery pieces have been shipped from Norway. In 2006, there were still 56 M109A3GNs in the Army’s inventory, meaning that at least 70 SPGs had been scrapped after the end of the Cold War. 14 of the M109A3GNs received additional upgrades in 2007, and were designated M109A3GNM. The upgrade includes, among other things, new intercom and new navigation and positioning systems. In 2020, both the 14 units with “A3GNM” upgrades and the rest of the units still having “A3GN” specs were put in storage, as all of the new Korean K9 Vidar (Versatile Indirect Artillery) units had been delivered.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces depend on Western support and are in need of weapons and equipment to withstand Russian attacks. Ukraine has specifically requested this type of weapon. The development in the war in Ukraine now suggests that it is necessary to also donate heavier artillery and weapons’ systems. This is a substantial contribution and one that is very much in demand by Ukraine,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram.
Norway has provided a total of approximately NOK 2.1 billion in support to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in response to Russia’s military aggression. Norway has donated 4000 M72 anti-tank weapons, 100 Mistral air defense missiles, 1500 bulletproof vests, 5000 helmets, 15.000 field rations, 1000 protective masks with filters, 2000 sleeping bags, 10.000 sleeping mats and some clothing to Ukraine. These weapons have been delivered. Norway will contribute to a fund to coordinate acquisition of military equipment for Ukraine. The fund is led by the United Kingdom, which will coordinate the purchase and transport of defence equipment for Ukraine. The government proposes to give NOK 400 million to the fund.