Category : News
Author: Checkpoint

Ukrainian troops are set to learn from NZ Defence Force personnel how to use a weapon that's called a light field gun - but the head of NZDF says it's actually "quite a large weapon system".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today another 30 Defence Force personnel would head to the UK to upskill Ukrainian soldiers in a training-only mission.

The NZDF personnel will be stationed in the UK until the end of July.

"This new support comes in addition to the extensive assistance we have already provided to Ukraine, which encompasses the military, humanitarian, legal, and other aspects of the conflict," Ardern said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will work in tandem with our partners to ensure that we continue to make a meaningful and effective contribution."

Defence Force chief Air Marshall Kevin Short told Checkpoint personnel would be training Ukrainian soldiers in target selection and analysis and how to use the L119 105mm light field guns safely.

"They're called a light gun, but it actually weighs some 1850 kilograms, so it's quite a large weapon system" - Defence Force chief Air Marshall Kevin Short

NZDF had been using the gun for decades and it was a "unique skill the UK has asked for", Short said.

The UK is arranging the transport of Ukrainian soldiers to the UK for training.

"This particular weapon system is used for what they call direct and indirect support to troops, and can be used on offensive or for defensive operations.


"It can be used against armoured vehicles and other artillery posts. And as you would have seen ... Russia is using artillery to pound villages and cities, and this will be a counterforce against that."

Trained crew from Ukraine would take about a week to be qualified to use the gun.

The gun had a barrel of about six and a half meters, "and they're called a light gun, but it actually weighs some 1850 kilograms, so it's quite a large weapon system, it can be towed behind most larger military vehicles, and so you can tow it to where you need to operate it", Short said.

"It's able to be carried in underslung helicopters and larger two-engine aircraft. So in other words, the utility of being able to move this gun is where it gets the light fuel gun name from."

Minister of Defence Peeni Henare said NZDF personnel would not be entering Ukraine.

"We are also providing approximately 40 gun sights to Ukraine, along with a small quantity of ammunition for training purposes," he said.

Note from Nighthawk.NZ:

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