In June, Norway donated M109A3GN 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine to be operated by the 72nd Mechanized Brigade. The initial convoy used MAZ-537 trucks to deliver the howitzers to Kyiv. Now, we are seeing more of these in action.
The M109A3GN is the latest version of the M109 howitzer, and it’s the current service tank of the Norweigian Army’s Artilleribataljonen. 126 M109Gs were acquired from West Germany between 1969 to 1971, and the new version is a configuration from that original design. There were still 56 M109A3GN in the Army’s inventory in 2006, so more than 70 were terminated by the end of the Cold War. Then in 2007, the Norweigian army upgraded the M109A3GN again, which now features a new dashboard and software for intercom, positioning systems, and intercom. By 2020, 14 units were tagged “A3GNM” while the other had the “A3GN” specs (currently placed in storage).
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 2, 2022
Norwegian M109A3GN 155mm self-propelled howitzers are in #Ukraine! – here a Ukrainian soldier from the 72nd Mechanized Brigade filming what appears to be training with new howitzers. pic.twitter.com/smfmQCQbSZ
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 1, 2022
Before the donation, the Norwegians donated about $285 million to Ukraine to support the war’s humanitarian needs and equipment requirements. They also donated 4,000 M71 LAW anti-tank rockets and 100 Mistral air defense missiles.
SOFREP has also previously covered how Norwegian missiles were being boarded on Italian trucks for mobile air defense.
“By delivering the pickup trucks, the organization intends to promote the implementation of “mobile fire groups” after equipping them with trained operators and French-made MANPADS. This will give the Ukrainians yet another weapon in their ever-increasing arsenal to limit any aerial threats posed by the Russian invaders.”
But with the M109A3GN, they are able to improve their air-missile operation. Since the delivery, the M109A3GN has been used to train forces and attack Russian lines. M109A3GNs are armed with 39 caliber barrels that can fire NATO 155 mm ammunition with “high-explosive, illuminating, and smoke with a maximum firing range of 24,700m,” according to reports. The Ukrainian forces are also continually training with the Norwegian and US armies to improve the troop’s skills around navigating the M109A3GN.
Watch the Ukrainian Ground Forces training with the M109A3GN:
Cons of the M109A3GN
Though the M109A3GNs have been a great addition to the frontline, it’s not always as agile (as the Italian trucks above). At the same time, because they’re not necessarily stealthy and they can only speed up to 35 mph, they can be susceptible to air attacks. So, even though Ukrainians received a couple of these from Norway, few have been attacked by the Russian cluster munition fire.
Then, here’s the latest video of the M109A3GN being targeted by the Russian army in the Nikolaev region.
Have you driven an M109 howitzer before? Share your experiences in the comments below.