File photo of an AS90 on a training exercise
File photo of an AS90 on a training exercise (Picture: MOD/Crown Copyright).

Ukrainian troops arrive in UK to 'get to grips' with AS90 artillery guns

File photo of an AS90 on a training exercise
File photo of an AS90 on a training exercise (Picture: MOD/Crown Copyright).

Ukrainian military personnel have arrived in the UK to begin training on how to use AS90 self-propelled artillery guns, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last month about 30 AS90 howitzers will be sent to Ukraine to help the country defend against Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian troops arrived over weekend to "get to grips" with the armoured self-propelled artillery weapon, the MOD said.

The AS90 entered service with the British Army in the 1990s.

It equips three field regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Artillery.

It is fitted with a 155mm, 39-calibre gun barrel and according to the Army, in trials, two AS-90 guns were able to deliver a total payload of 261kg onto a single target in less than 10 seconds.

During a statement to Parliament, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that the AS90 weapons are part of a military aid package that will allow Ukrainians to "go from resisting to expelling Russian forces from Ukrainian soil".

Mr Wallace also added that AS90s will come from British stocks, along with their associated ammunition.

What can the AS90 155mm self-propelled gun offer to Ukraine?

It comes as Mr Sunak has said that he is focused on ensuring the UK's defensive military equipment reaches the front line of Ukraine as quickly as possible to help seize the opportunity to push back Russian forces.

In a phone call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, both leaders agreed that it was important that international partners accelerated their assistance to Ukraine.

Also, as part of the UK's military aid package, the UK has committed to sending a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks.

Fourteen Challenger 2s are "intended" to arrive in Ukraine "at end of March", according to defence minister Alex Chalk.

Ukrainian troops arrived in the UK for Challenger 2 training at the end of last month.

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