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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Vikings for victory: weapons supply from Norway to Ukraine

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While most of Europe is centered around Ukraine to fight the Russian army, the focus is mostly on aid from Britain and Germany. Much less has been written about the efforts of countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Although it is important not to forget about his contribution to the strengthening of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and these countries.

Norway pledged its first military aid, breaking a 60-year ban on arms exports to active war zones, days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Arriving in Ukraine in early March, this shipment consisted of 2,000 M72 LAW anti-tank guns, 5,000 helmets and 1,500 body armor. In the following months, 2,000 M72 LAWs and 100 Mistral 2 portable air defense systems (MANPADS) arrived in Ukraine, and at least some of the Mistral-2s were later mounted and mobilized on pickup trucks.

Focus A new material has been translated by analysts Stein Mitzer, Just Olimans, about Norway’s aid to Ukraine.

The most significant manifestation of Norway’s support to Ukraine today is the delivery of 22 155 mm M109A3GN self-propelled guns, carried out in May 2022. The M109A3GN is a 1990s upgrade of the M109A3, which entered service with the Norwegian Army in the late 1960s. Although older than the PzH 2000 howitzers supplied by Germany and the Netherlands, the M109A3GN is still a powerful system capable of firing a maximum of 25 km (or 30 km when using rockets). In addition, the age of these weapons is more than offset by their number: 22 M109A3GN has become a significant addition to Ukraine’s artillery arsenal.

Rather than leaving their old MLRSs to collect dust in warehouses, as France did, Norway signed an agreement with Britain to supply the British army with three M270s so the British could transfer three of their more modern M270B1s to Ukraine. After this cunning detour, the announcement of the transfer of fourteen armored infantry vehicles (IMV) Iveco LAV III to Ukraine at the end of July 2022 followed. Norway will also supply Ukraine with two NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) batteries purchased by the United States. The AIM-120C missile range of 25 km or more makes it possible to hit high-flying targets.

Private initiatives of Norwegian citizens also contributed significantly. Veteran Aid Ukraine is raising money for Ukrainians: thanks to their efforts, two Aeryon SkyRanger R60 VTOL UAVs are on their way to Ukraine. In March, members of the organization came to Ukraine with humanitarian aid such as diapers, baby food, blankets and cans, as well as a generator for a hospital in Lviv. In July 2022, Norwegian veterans returned to Ukraine. This time, they brought with them, among other things, thermal sights for weapons and four small drones.

Even though Norway’s surplus stock of heavy weapons is nearly depleted, the country looks set to continue to support the Ukrainian military, for example by providing funds that Ukraine can use to purchase weapons systems from other countries’ defense companies. The transfer of additional M109A3GN(M) self-propelled guns, Iveco LAV III armored vehicles and even M113 armored personnel carriers is also possible, but will depend on their condition and Norway’s ability to rapidly replace these vehicles in service with the Norwegian army.

In the list below, we have tried to trace the military equipment supplied or promised by Norway during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The list is sorted by weapon category (flag indicates country of origin). Due to the secrecy of some weapon transfers, only the lower limit of the total amount of weapons supplied is specified. This list will be updated as more military support is announced or disclosed.

Weapons delivery to Ukraine: military equipment delivered by Norway to the Ukrainian Armed Forces

  • Surface-to-air missile systems (SAM)
  • 2 NASAMS batteries [будут поставлены] (Acquired by the USA from Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace)
  • Multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)
  • 3 M270 MLRS (issued to Britain so that the British Army can transfer three modern M270B1s to Ukraine)
  • self-propelled artillery
  • 22 155mm M109A3GN [май 2022 г.]
  • Armored Infantry Vehicles (IMV)
  • 14 Iveco LAV III [будут поставлены]
  • Man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS)
  • 100 Mistral 2s [апрель 2022 г.]
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
  • 2x Aeryon SkyRanger R60 [апрель 2022] (Donated by Norwegian veterans)
  • anti-tank guns
  • 4000 NM72F1 (M72 LAW) [март и апрель 2022 г.]
  • Various equipment
  • 5000 HJELM helmet [февраль 2022]
  • 1500 bulletproof vests [февраль 2022]
  • 1000 gas masks [февраль 2022]
  • 15,000 dry ration [февраль 2022]
  • 2000 sleeping bags [февраль 2022]
  • 10,000 sleeping mats [февраль 2022]

Source: Riafan

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