Norway has donated 22 M109 tracked self-propelled howitzers, as well as equipment, spare parts and ammunition for long-range weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the country’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.
Norway has also trained Ukrainian soldiers in Germany in the use of M109, according to a Ministry of Defense statement.
“The development of the war in Ukraine now suggests that there is also a need to donate heavy artillery and weapon systems,” Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said in the statement.
Kyiv has repeatedly called for donations of heavier weapons to help it repel the Russian invasion.
A Ukrainian official told POLITICO on Tuesday that “what we lack are long-range missiles… We need howitzers.” He added that while the US, UK and Australia had sent just over 100 howitzers, Ukraine needed 700 more to fight Russian forces.
“In terms of weapons, ammunition and cartridges used by the Russians, it’s six to one,” the Ukrainian official said. “For six shells fired at us, only one shell comes back. The Russians dominate in terms of the amount of weapons they are able to deploy against the Ukrainians.
The Howitzers and other equipment have already left Norway, the country’s defense ministry said, adding that Oslo may not publicize further donations in the future.
The Norwegian army recently replaced its fleet of howitzers with new artillery, but kept its M109s in storage, the Defense Ministry said. It was from this supply that the 22 gave M109s were purchased.