The Ukrainian army is said to be intensifying its counterattack, forcing the Russian army to retreat on several fronts after receiving a new batch of artillery, including the M777 howitzer dubbed the “king of artillery” by the US.
According to 19 Forty Five, the skirmishes between Russia and Ukraine are concentrated in the Donbass region. But now, the Ukrainian army can confidently fight the Russians after receiving massive artillery supplies from Western allies.
The US military is the country that contributes the most artillery to Ukraine after sending 90 M777 155mm cannons and hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery shells to help the country fight the Russian army. Such weapons systems have enhanced the Ukrainian army’s long-range firing capabilities, allowing Ukrainian commanders to strike targets deep behind enemy lines, experts say.
Recently, when the Russian army tried to cross the Severodonetsk River last week, the Ukrainian army launched a series of fierce artillery battles against Russian positions, destroying about 83 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles.
Mobile Ukrainian M777 battery, eastern Ukraine pic.twitter.com/U2kgAiE4Ll
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) May 15, 2022
Earlier we reported that on 21st May a Russian 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm heavy mortar was destroyed by a Ukrainian artillery strike, by the looking at the video it could Excalibur precision-guided munition artillery shell fired from M777
The Ukrainian army is said to have been using very effectively the new artillery they received. According to the General Staff of Ukraine, a shelling – likely using an M777 howitzer – targeted the field headquarters of the Russian 810 brigade on Wednesday, May 18, killing three servicemen and injuring them. wounded 14 Russian officers, including brigade commander, acting brigade commander, 2 battalion commanders, and an artillery commander.
However, the Russian side also released a video showing that a tactical drone dropped a barrage of shells to destroy a Ukrainian M777 155mm howitzer. According to a video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense, after detecting a Russian ambush, Ukrainian forces rushed to pull artillery into the nearby forest to hide. However, the Russian UAV continued to track the target, while many projectiles continued to hit this forest. This may be the first M777 howitzer the US transferred to Ukraine under attack by Russia.
“There was a real firefight in Donbas, literally. Artillery on both sides shells each other daily and the Russians (continue to) conduct air strikes,” the senior US defense official added.
A senior US Department of Defense official said at a Pentagon press conference on May 20 that the US 155mm M777 howitzers, as well as other artillery pieces, were manufactured by allies and partner countries supplying Ukraine is having a big impact on the battlefield.
The M777 is a howitzer designed and built by British military corporation BAE Systems, acquired by the Pentagon to replace the obsolete US Army M198 howitzer in the early 2000s.
The M777 howitzer is dubbed the “artillery king” with a mass of 4.2 tons; length when marching is 9.5m and in combat is 10.7m, of which barrel length is 5.08m. The crew of this howitzer has 7-8 soldiers. The M777 has a rate of fire of about 7 rounds per minute.
The M777 is equipped with a digital fire control system to guide and self-locate targets, making it much more capable of shooting accurately.
M777 is designed to be able to use many different types of ammunition, helping this grenade improve its combat capabilities. If using the M982 Excalibur ammunition guided by the Global Positioning System (GPS), the M777’s range can reach 40km, with a circular error (CEP) of 5m.
In the future, the M777 cannon is expected to gradually replace self-propelled artillery systems in the US military’s rapid response units, due to its light weight, easy transport by air, and combat suitability fighting in mountainous terrain.
In addition to 90 M777 155mm cannons, the Pentagon has committed to Ukraine to send some more guns of the same type to this country.
But the US military is not the only entity supplying artillery to Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has requested and received long-range fire systems from several other NATO countries including France, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The UK has also committed to sending 12 AS90 155mm armored self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, while the French military will send 12 CEASAR 155mm truckloads of self-propelled howitzers. Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands also pledged to send Ukraine self-propelled artillery PzH 2000 SP 155mm or M109 Paladins to Ukraine.