UK buys artillery from Sweden to replace arms sent to Ukraine

Sweden will supply an interim replacement for the 32 AS90s that the UK has donated to Ukraine

British Defence Minister Ben Wallace. EPA
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The UK is to buy artillery systems from Sweden after its stocks ran low because of equipment being sent to Ukraine for its conflict with Russia, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.

Under the terms of the government-to-government agreement, ownership of the first 14 Archer self-propelled guns will be transferred to the British Army this month.

Sweden will supply an interim replacement for the 32 AS90s the UK has donated to the Ukrainian forces.

The Ministry of Defence said the Archer, designed and built by BAE Systems Bofors in Sweden, had double the maximum range of the AS90, greater mobility, greater availability and less time to put into action.

“This agreement with a close European ally will sustain the British Army’s requirements until the longer-term mobile fires platform comes into service — a programme we are working hard to accelerate," Mr Wallace said.

Ukraine and Russia conflict latest - in pictures

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken by phone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the latest battle situation.

After his recent meetings with US, Australian and French leaders, Mr Sunak said the UK would continue to work closely with allies to ensure Ukraine had the equipment it needed, Downing Street said.

He updated Mr Zelenskyy on the delivery of more UK military aid, saying it was “vital Ukraine had the capabilities to change the battlefield equation as soon as possible”.

Updated: March 16, 2023, 9:27 PM