By: Umme Kulsum
February 9 2024
Screenshot of a post claiming that self-propelled artillery vehicle were seen on the M25 motorway in London. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
The image is from 2017, and was captured during a military exercise in Sweden.
What’s the claim?
An image of two self-propelled artillery vehicles on the road is being shared online with the claim that the armed combat pieces were seen moving on a London motorway. Sharing the image, which also shows some military vehicles a little ahead of the armored machines, one Facebook user wrote, “Just seen these all lined up on the m25 what’s going on(sic)? ” The M25 motorway is one of the most important and busiest roads in and around London. The Facebook post (archived here) had garnered over 460 likes and 200 shares at the time of writing.
However, the image does not show military presence in London or the United Kingdom.
Where is the image from?
Through a reverse image search, we found the image is unrelated to the U.K. The two self-propelled artillery vehicles in the photograph actually show a Swedish artillery system.
Swedish website Totalförsvar (Total Defence) had published the image in question in an article on September 26, 2017. The website stated that the image was captured during the Swedish Armed Forces exercise ‘Aurora 17’ held in Trosa and showed the artillery system ‘Archer.’ The image was credited to one Karin Malmsten
According to the Swedish Armed Forces website, ‘Aurora 17’ was a military exercise held in September 2017. The exercise was carried out to increase military capability and build a stronger defense.
Screenshot of the Total Defense article published in 2017. (Source: Total Defense Foundation)
We found the same image in a document shared on the Swedish Defence Forces website in 2023. Here, too, the image was credited to Karin Malmsten. A rough translation of the accompanying text said the artillery captured in the photo was part of Swedish Defense Forces deployments. The document made no reference to London or the U.K. in the details mentioned about the artillery vehicles.
We also came across a Facebook post shared by the page ‘Trafikredaktionen Sveriges Radio.’ Trafikredaktion is the national broadcaster in Sweden, and this Facebook page shares traffic updates. Their post had shared the viral image, also credited to Malmsten here, on September 22, 2017. According to the photo caption, the road in the picture runs “between Enköping and Bålsta” and leads to Stockholm.
The image of artillery dates back to 2017 when it was captured during the Swedish Armed Forces exercise ‘Aurora 17.’ The image has no links to London. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.