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Norway authorizes direct sales of arms to Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

The Norwegian government has authorized the direct sale of arms and defense equipment from its national defense industry to Ukraine. This decision, effective from January 1, 2024, marks a critical step in Norway's efforts to strengthen Ukrainian defenses amid the ongoing conflict.
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NASAMS Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Defense Missile System. (Picture source: Norwegian MoD)

According to an official statement from the Norwegian government, this measure is driven by the need to enhance security for both Norway and the broader European region. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide emphasized the urgency of this support in light of Russia's ongoing aggression, stating, "In the face of Russia's illegal war of aggression, we must continue our support for Ukraine. This support is vital not only for Ukraine's defense but also for the security of Norway and Europe as a whole."

Under the new policy, direct sales of Norwegian arms and defense products to Ukraine will be allowed, provided they meet strict criteria for verified needs and end-user control. Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram highlighted the strategic importance of this policy change, noting, "This modification of our defense export policy reflects our commitment to protecting key defense and security policy interests. It also demonstrates our resolve to stand alongside our allies and underscores the vital role of the Norwegian defense industry in addressing current security challenges."

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry clarified that export licenses for these direct sales would be issued on a case-by-case basis, following a thorough assessment to ensure compliance with Norway's stringent export control regulations.

This development follows the recent announcement by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway's intention to expand its support to Ukraine. The planned assistance includes strengthening Ukraine's air defense capabilities, financial support for the healthcare and education sectors, and funding to increase ammunition production. These measures collectively represent a robust and multidimensional approach by Norway to aid Ukraine in its defense efforts.

Norway has played a crucial role in supporting Ukraine in the ongoing conflict by providing a substantial range of military and defense equipment. Among the most significant, Norway delivered surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, including two NASAMS firing units in November 2022, accompanied by two Fire Distribution Centers, two launchers, and spare parts in July 2023. In August 2023, Ukraine also received IRIS-T anti-aircraft missiles.

In the realm of multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), Norway provided 11 M270 MLRS, delivered to the United Kingdom to enable the British Army to transfer eleven more modern M270B1s to Ukraine. Regarding self-propelled artillery, Ukraine benefited from 23 155mm M109A3GNs, with 22 delivered in May 2022 and one in November 2022, along with corresponding ammunition. Another significant support includes 16 155mm ShKH Zuzana 2s, whose delivery is planned as part of a joint purchase by Germany, Norway, and Denmark.

In terms of armored vehicles, Norway supplied 8 Leopard 2A4 tanks in March 2023. To improve the mobility of Ukrainian infantry, 14 Iveco LAV IIIs were sent in October 2022. Moreover, to support engineering and recovery operations, Ukraine received 2 Bergepanzer Armoured Recovery Vehicles in March 2023, as well as 2 NM217 and 2 NM189 Ingeniørpanservogn armored engineering vehicles delivered at the same time.

Logistical support also includes 50 M548 tracked cargo carriers and a variety of Scania trucks, including P92 models with cranes and P113 models with hook lifts, delivered in January 2023. Ukraine also benefited from demining equipment, delivered in August 2023.

In terms of portable anti-aircraft equipment, Norway provided 100 MANPADS Mistral 2 systems in April 2022. For coastal defense, the Hellfire Shore Defense System was delivered in late 2022. Furthermore, Norway supported surveillance and counter-battery efforts with the planned delivery of 3 ARTHUR radars.

With this announcement, Norway will further strengthen its support for Ukraine, adding to the already significant aid provided to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


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