Photos supplied by Turkey’s government Anadolu Agency show the newly received Norwegian M109A3GN 155mm self-propelled howitzers in the Kyiv region.
Ukrainian soldiers from the 72nd Mechanized Brigade are shown in a recent social media video operating the latest M109A3GN 155mm howitzers.
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
This is the Norwegian version of the M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer, which was designed in the United States in the early 1960s. Armor and motorized infantry divisions’ movement units still rely on it as their primary indirect fire support weapon.
#Ukraine: A Ukrainian convoy was filmed passing by somewhere in #Kyiv Oblast – at least 4 recently donated M109A3GN 155mm self-propelled howitzers can be seen. pic.twitter.com/SlnX0g6gsy— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 2, 2022
According to reports like one from The Kyiv Independent, Norway has reportedly already given 20 M109A3GN artillery systems.
What is the M109 Howitzer? And How powerful is it? Let’s find out…
What is a Howitzer?
Before knowing what the M109 Howitzer is and how powerful its Norwegian variant is, we should first know what a howitzer is.
A howitzer is a long-ranged weapon that is categorized to be between the cannons and the mortar. Howitzer is a part of all modern artillery in any military.
The word howitzer comes from the Czech word houfnice or houf, which means ‘crowd.’ The word houf itself has roots also in the German language.
A self-propelled howitzer is attached to a vehicle that is either tracked or wheeled. In many situations, it is covered with some type of armor, making it appear to be a tank.
A pack howitzer is a compact howitzer that can be transported by mule or pack-horse because of its minimal weight and ease of disassembly.
Mountain howitzers are designed for use in mountain terrain and are fairly light. Mountain howitzers are typically also pack howitzers; however, this isn’t always the case.
A siege howitzer is a type of howitzer that may be fired from a stationary structure.
A field howitzer is a howitzer that may be transported along with a field army while on a campaign. It is almost always accompanied by a wheeled vehicle of some kind.
The U.S. military created the M109 in the early 1960s, a 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer to replace the M44. It is the most widely used Western indirect-fire support weapon for movement units of armored and mechanized infantry divisions.
The M109 Howitzer had many variants, including the M109A3GN, that the Norwegian Army had 42 of them and gave 20 to Ukraine and kept 22 of them.
M109A3GN Howitzer Specs
The crew of the M109 consists of four people: commander, driver, gunner and operator/loader.
- Weight: 27.5 tons
- Length: 9.1 m (30 ft)
- Width: 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
- Height: 3.25 m (10 ft 8 in)
- Main armament: M185 155 mm Howitzer
- Secondary armament: 7.62 mm M60
- Engine: Detroit Diesel V-8 450 hp
- Operational range: 350 km (216 miles)
- Maximum speed: 56 km/h (35 mph)
How will the M109 Howitzer help Ukraine?
“Artillery is a specific item that the Ukrainians asked for because of the fighting that they expect is going to occur in the Donbas,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on April 18. Artillery and long-range fires should be used due to the nature of the terrain. And we know that the Russians think the same thing because they are also sending artillery units into the Donbas.
Together with counter-radar and drones, the artillery is a significant addition to Ukraine’s fighting capability. The use of Javelin missiles by Ukrainian forces against Russian tanks within range has been a massive success. Using howitzers and other long-range artillery, Ukraine could destroy Russian tanks, supply lines, and other military targets from a distance.
Do you think this weapon is going to have great success in Ukraine? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.