Norway and Finland strengthen cooperation on K9 artillery systems with South Korea

By Defence Industry Europe

Norway and Finland have enhanced their cooperation in the realm of K9 artillery systems, initially acquired from South Korea. This new agreement, highlighted by Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram, allows for a more streamlined process in the shipment of spare parts between the two nations, bypassing the need for direct approval from South Korea.

 

This move is set to considerably improve the operational readiness of artillery vehicles, reducing vulnerability and bolstering defence capabilities in the north. “The direct results of this agreement are that artillery vehicles will be operational in a shorter span of time. This will aid our defence capabilities and leave us less vulnerable,” stated Minister Gram. He also emphasized the ongoing efforts to forge similar agreements with other nations supplying weapon systems to the Nordic states, praising South Korea for leading the initiative.

 

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Prior to this agreement, the transfer of spare parts between Norway and Finland was a bureaucratic and time-consuming process, requiring a signed application to be sent to South Korea. The new arrangement simplifies this procedure, enabling the two countries to transfer spare parts freely, a notable exception to the typical restrictions imposed on military materials by the country of origin.

This agreement gains additional significance with Finland’s recent induction into NATO. “Now that Finland is a member of NATO, our collaboration is more important than ever, and this arrangement will further enhance our defence capabilities,” the minister added.

 

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Finland and Norway share a long history of logistic collaboration, particularly in common equipment and weapon systems. Sharing information, experiences, and services has provided operational advantages, and this collaboration is set to deepen in the coming years. The impending NATO membership of Sweden is expected to usher in a new phase of cooperation among these countries.

Minister Gram concluded by underscoring the importance of simplifying and facilitating cross-border collaboration for preparedness. The defence forces of Norway and Finland are set to work more closely on the K9 systems and other shared equipment, paving the way for more integrated and efficient Nordic defence capabilities.

 

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