The Norwegian defense ministry revealed it has donated 22 M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine as part of its support for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.
The donation also includes gear, spare parts and ammunition, the defense ministry said.
Norway added that the M109s were delivered out of Norwegian Armed Forces’ storage, since the howitzers were recently replaced by the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers that started arriving from South Korea in 2019.
A total of 22 of M109s have been donated, Norway said, adding that it had also trained Ukranian soldiers on how to use the system. This training took place in Germany.
“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,” Norwegian defense minister Bjørn Arild Gram said.
“The development in the war in Ukraine now suggests that it is necessary to also donate heavier artillery and weapons systems,” he added.
This is a substantial contribution and one that is very much in demand by Ukraine, the defense minister added.
Norway said the artillery pieces have already been shipped from Norway, noting it waited to publicly announce the donation for security reasons. The defense ministry further said it may not announce or comment on future donations.
Norwegian military assistance to Ukraine to date
In addition to the M109 self-propelled howitzers, Norway’s publicly-announced contributions for Ukraine so far include 4,000 M72 anti-tank weapons, which have already been delivered.
A total of 1,500 bulletproof vests, 5,000 helmets, 15.000 field rations, 1,000 protective masks with filters, 2,000 sleeping bags, 10.000 sleeping mats and some clothing have also been delivered.
In April this year, Norway also revealed it had provided Mistral surface-to-air missile systems, with 100 missiles and an unspecified amount of launchers to Ukraine.
Norway is also contributing to a fund led by the United Kingdom to coordinate acquisition of military equipment for Ukraine. The Scandinavian country’s government is proposing to give NOK 400 million (USD42.2M) to the fund.