State-of-the-art artillery now in Ukraine

As a result of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden decided to donate defence equipment to Ukraine earlier this year, including the state-of-the-art Archer artillery system. Just over eight months later, the Archers are on location in Ukraine and the crews have received training in Sweden.

Artillery system firing in the woods
Artillery system firing in the woods
The Archers are now on location in Ukraine, and their crews were trained in Sweden. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
Men learning how to operate the Archer system
The students were very dedicated and interested to learn how to operate the advanced Archer system training despite the language barrier. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces
Students sitting at desks in a tent, with computers
Training was stressful for both students and instructors. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces

Artillery Inspector and commanding officer of the Boden Artillery Regiment (A 8), Colonel Stephan Sjöberg, recently informed the A 8 personnel about the confirmed Archer deliveries and the preceding training mission.

"I understand that what you have done during this extremely intense period has "challenged your hearts and minds". The war that our friends are fighting in Ukraine is justified, and I know that you understand the significance of integrity entailed in the task itself. And at the same time, I am aware of the challenges you have experienced as you have likely developed friendships during this intense training period", Colonel Sjöberg says.

The training phase of the Ukrainian artillery crews has been fast-paced. David is one of several instructors who have trained the Ukrainians on the system that is now on site in the country.

"The students demonstrated a good capability to take on the advanced Archer system training, despite the language barrier. What stood out most was their willingness to learn, to master the system. The majority of those we have trained are used to older Soviet artillery systems, which, in combination with a sudden move to significantly more advanced technology, has posed a challenge".

During the training, there have also been challenges regarding educational methodology and procedures.

"It has been stressful for both instructors and students. However, my conclusion is that the Swedish training methodology works well", says David.

The training effort has now been concluded and Colonel Stephan Sjöberg is careful to thank all the staff who worked on this mission.

"I want to thank you all as a colleague and as your commanding officer for all that you have achieved. I am especially happy to see that the training was carried out jointly by the army. Your contribution is of great importance to our friends in Ukraine".