The Ukrainian war has now entered a new phase. Therefore, there is a great need for both the artillery system Archer and combat vehicles 90, according to several military experts. However, the challenges are many.

The defense's artilleripjäs Archer is mounted on a terrain wagon.
The defense's artilleripjäs Archer is mounted on a terrain wagon.

The support package of SEK 4.3 billion from Sweden consists of the artillery system Archer and the somewhat more surprising message that Sweden will assist Ukraine with 50 combat vehicles 90.

The new support package is intended to contribute when the focus is shifted to land battles, lifting from the government's side.

From the military side, the analysis is made that Sweden's response together with similar decisions from other countries now indicates that the support from the West has entered a completely new phase.

"Now it is considered that a little ammunition is no longer enough, but now we have to take a strong stance. The Russians also have time on their side and then you have to do something to prevent this from becoming a trench war for four years", says Rein Pella, teacher of weapons technology at the Swedish Defense University.

"A Ukrainian offensive is necessary. It is needed both to free the country and to motivate the rest of the world to provide further support. This war is also more expensive and expensive the longer it goes on, especially in human lives", says Joakim Paasikivi, Lieutenant Colonel at the Swedish Defense University.

American aid

They both point to the fact that the USA is simultaneously preparing a multi-billion-dollar package in which, for the first time, it intends to supply the fighting vehicle Stryker to the Ukrainian military.

The question of what kind of military aid Ukraine will receive during the war has been a sensitive point – should it be primarily about defense or should it be able to help Ukraine go on the offensive against the invading Russian troops?

The latest information can give a changed picture, among others, according to Rein Pella.

"Now the West is starting to build an offensive with Ukraine. If you have a battalion combat vehicle 90 with good artillery support, it is a very powerful unit that can break through the Russian defense lines and can reclaim areas", he says.

At the same time, the Artillery system Archer has been requested from Ukrainian quarters for a long time. By being mounted on an off-road vehicle, it can be moved quickly and become more difficult to strike out by enemies. The shells can be shot in the way of 50 km with extremely high precision and also during a very short time course.

On the contrary, Joakim Paasikivi and Rein Pella points out that, as with combat vehicles 90, Ukrainian military personnel must be trained in the use of Archer.

Educated in Sweden?

"Archer is one of the world's most modern artillery pieces, which means that it's a very technical system. To only be able to troubleshoot equipment even if it's about minor errors to 90 percent – you have to have that knowledge. Otherwise, the play will just stand there, even if it's only about a ten dollar security", says Pella.

Then how is that supposed to happen?

"It's probably one of the bigger challenges. We're a small organization, there's only technical staff in Boden, Karlskoga and Skövde. How to solve this, to send someone down to Poland or solve it here in Sweden, I don't know."

Joakim Paasikivi speculates that Ukrainian military will be trained on site in Sweden. However, the logistics chain itself with maintenance of defense equipment will be demanding.

"These will go hard so there will be questions about repair of combat injuries with wagons that are completely or partly knocked out. Then there must be a logistics chain, which is a complicated part with spare parts, workshops and expertise."