Ukraine conflict: Scandinavian countries contribute to Ukrainian defence

by Charles Forrester

A US Army instructor teaches an Iraqi soldier to fire the AT4. Sweden is to provide Ukraine with the AT4 as part of its military assistance package. (US Army/Cpl Nelson Rodriguez)

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have all increased their support for the defence of Ukraine, with Finland being the latest to announce the donation of weapons.

Finland's Ministry of Defence announced on 28 February that following a government proposal, and with the approval of the country's president, the country would deliver 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 rounds of ammunition for the assault rifles, 1,500 single-shot anti-tank weapons, and 70,000 combat ration packages. The approval follows a previously announced donation of 2,000 bulletproof vests, 2,000 composite helmets, 100 stretchers, and equipment for two emergency medical care stations that was announced on 27 February.

Finland also approved the re-export by Estonia of D-30A 122 mm howitzers to Ukraine on 27 February. However, further approval from Germany – the original seller of the systems – for this transfer is still required.

Sweden announced on 27 February that it would be proposing a package of direct support to Ukraine's armed forces totalling SEK500 million (USD52.6 million), consisting of 5,000 Pansarskott m/86s (more commonly known as the Saab Dynamics AT4 84 mm light anti‐armour weapon), as well as 5,000 pieces of body armour, 5,000 helmets, and 135,000 field rations.

In a statement, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said “Europe and also Sweden are now in an exceptional situation, you also need to make exceptional decisions. It is not Swedish practice to send military equipment to conflict zones. The last time Sweden did so to any great extent was when the Soviet Union attacked Finland in 1939.”

Norway has also announced the donation of up to 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons, and also followed similar donations of body armour and helmets. The weapons will be provided as a donation from one state to another, not a commercial export, the Norwegian government noted in a statement.

“The Government decided this afternoon [28 February] that Norway will offer arms support to enable Ukraine to defend itself against the military attack from Russia. We are therefore aligning our actions with our close allies and the other Nordic countries. Norway has a restrictive policy with regard to exporting defence-related products, but Ukraine is now in a desperate and extraordinary situation,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.

“After consultations with the Storting [Norwegian parliament], the Government has decided to donate weapons to Ukraine. Russia's invasion of Ukraine makes it necessary for us to take unprecedented decisions and action,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said.

Denmark also announced on 27 February that it would contribute 2,700 shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons systems from the country's operational stock, likely M72 or M3. The country is also sending usable components from outdated Stinger man-portable air defence missile systems to the US for potential onward use by Ukraine.

The country had announced the donation of 2,000 bulletproof vests and 700 medical kits on 26 February.

LIG Nex1 outlines LAMD development plans

by Jon Grevatt

LIG Nex1's low-altitude missile defence system, a model of which is shown above, has a range of 7 km. (Janes/Dae Young Kim)

South Korea's LIG Nex1 has disclosed plans to supply its low-altitude missile defence (LAMD) system to the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces by the end of the decade.

The company started development of the system earlier this year, and told Janes at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition in Goyang that the LAMD will undergo seven more years of work before it is ready for deployment.

“We have planned two years of engineering development, one year to prepare for full-scale development, and four more years of full-scale development,” said an LIG Nex1 official.

The company is developing the system in collaboration with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD).

The LAMD, which is based on the Haegung Korean Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile (K-SAAM) system developed for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), underwent its first test in April. This featured a test-firing from the ADD's launch facility in Anheung.


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Updating strategy: NATO's new strategic concept calls for reprioritisation of CBRN threats

by John Eldridge

NATO-Russia relations since 1999. (Janes)

NATO's strategy since the collapse of the Soviet Union was noted for its drift and lack of purpose. Comments by French President Emmanuel Macron in November 2019 that NATO was “brain-dead” highlighted this concern at the top of the alliance member states' leadership.

While the alliance expanded over twenty years to encompass former states that had been within the Soviet Union, NATO struggled to define a role for itself that not only involved protecting its members, but which could also at the same time improve relations with the Russian Federation.

Throughout the 1990s and into the beginning of the 2000s, NATO's strategy and relationship with Russia were conditioned by events outside of the alliance's control, and which were mainly undertaken by its strongest member state, the United States. Humanitarian interventions, the invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), alongside an expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe and the Baltics, were all viewed with unease in Moscow.

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Boeing, Northrop Grumman join 3D printing push

by Marc Selinger

A 3D-printed satellite engine mount. (Boeing)

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have signed up to participate in the Biden administration's Additive Manufacturing (AM) Forward initiative, which intends to strengthen US supply chains by increasing the use of 3D-printed parts.

Both companies have agreed to expand opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers to provide AM parts, according to a 17 August announcement by nonprofit Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America), which supports AM Forward. Boeing will work with SMEs to increase its AM supply base capacity by 30%, while Northrop Grumman will seek to have SME manufacturers compete for 50% of its requests for quotes on AM products.

The White House unveiled AM Forward in May, saying that additive manufacturing often takes fewer resources and less time than traditional manufacturing processes. Five large companies, including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, participated in the launch of the initiative.

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