The Government of Norway donates another 10,000 artillery shells to Ukraine. The artillery shells can be used in several types of artillery fire, including 22 M109 tracked self-propelled howitzers that Norway has donated in the past. The M109 self-propelled howitzers and spare parts donated to Ukraine were supplied from the artillery stored by the Norwegian Army. The consequence for national preparedness has been assessed. Norway has completed providing training to Ukrainian soldiers in Germany on how to operate the self-propelled howitzers.
“It is important for Europe’s and Norway’s security that Ukraine succeeds in standing up to Russia’s attack. Ukraine needs international support in the form of military equipment and training of its own forces. Norway has contributed heavily through 2022, and will continue to contribute to support Ukraine in 2023. Ukraine needs support quickly, and we therefore continue to assess what we can donate from the structure of the Armed Forces. At the same time, we are investigating what we can acquire directly from the producer to donate further,” says Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
The Norwegian Army recently procured new artillery from South Korea to replace the M109 self-propelled howitzers. Norwegian variant was named K9 VIDAR (Versatile InDirect ARtillery system), and is based on a South Korean K9A1. It differs from K9A1 by changing the BTCS to Norwegian ODIN fire support system and radio communication systems for the NATO operation. The M109 is a US-made, 155mm, self-propelled howitzer based on a tracked armoured chassis. The M109A3GN is the Norwegian variant of the German M109A3G 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer, acquired by Norway between 1969 and 1971. It is equipped with a 39-calibre barrel and has a firing range of 24,700m.
As part of its efforts to strengthen the Ukrainian armed forces to counter Russia, Norway has made significant contributions to the war-torn nation. Its military assistance to Ukraine includes 4,000 M72 anti-tank weapons, 1,500 bulletproof vests, helmets, protective masks, and sleeping bags. Norway also shipped the Mistral air defence system to the Ukrainian forces. The package included approximately 100 Mistral air defence missiles and multiple launchers. In addition, Norway is planning to contribute Nkr400m ($42.22m) to a UK-led fund to handle the acquisition of equipment for Ukraine.