The latest military aid to Ukraine will be 22 M109 155mm self-propelled howitzers and ammunition, supplied by Norway.
Norway has completed providing training to Ukrainian soldiers in Germany on how to operate the weapon system. “This is a substantial contribution and one that is very much in demand by Ukraine. Ukraine has specifically requested this type of weapon,” the Norwegian government said.
The Norwegian Army has recently replaced their M109 artillery guns with new artillery from South Korea, but still has M109 stored. 126 M109Gs were acquired from West Germany between 1969 and 1971. They were then upgraded to the M109A3GN configuration during the latter half of the 1980s. 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 M109 is a US-made, 155mm, self-propelled howitzer based on a tracked armoured chassis. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions.
The M109 has a crew of four: the commander, the driver, the gunner, and the loader. The M109 has a fairly simple design. The engine is located in the front to the right, while the driver sits in the front-left. The turret takes up the rear. On top of the turret, there is a small cupola, from which the commander operates.
The M109 is armed with a M126 155 mm/L23 howitzer, with 28 rounds of ammunition, this weapon had a maximum range of 14,600 meters with a standard HE-FRAG projectile and around 20,000 meters with a rocket-assisted projectile. Though firing range improved on upgraded version of the M109. This artillery system is capable of firing up to 4 rounds per minute, although a sustained rate of fire would be 2 rounds per minute.
Secondary armament consists of the M2HB heavy machine gun with 500 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition mounted in a cupola on the turret roof. A 450 horsepower Detroit Diesel 8V71T engine powers the M109 to a maximum speed of 65 kilometers an hour to a maximum range of 390 km.
Norway has provided a total of approximately Norwegian krone 2.1 billion in support to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in response to Russia’s military aggression. 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.