Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Russia ‘Annihilates’ American M-777 Howitzers As Ukraine Newest Acquisition Comes Under Fire From Drones – Watch

A video circulating on social media shows Russian forces allegedly striking the Ukrainian firing position of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers, which were recently supplied to Kiev by Washington.

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The footage begins with an aerial view of Ukrainian howitzers being pounded by Russian projectiles and Ukrainian troops fleeing in terror. 

The second part of the footage finishes with the howitzers being pulled into the woods to avoid detection, but the area was then also bombarded by Russian artillery.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that its attack drones, backed up by artillery, destroyed a Ukrainian firing position of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers near the Podgornoye settlement, reported Russian-state run news agency — Tass.  

“In the area of the settlement of Podgornoye, the Russian teams of unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery reconnaissance systems established the coordinates of a firing position of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers used by the Ukrainian military. The operators of unmanned aerial vehicles delivered a missile strike on the firing position of the battery of American howitzers, damaging several guns,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry further asserted that the Ukrainian fighters were hit by an artillery strike as soon as they concentrated prime movers and guns in the forest. All of the equipment and American howitzers were reportedly destroyed. 

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The latest strikes could be considered a positive development for Russia, as Ukraine has apparently wreaked havoc on Russian sites in recent days, blasting targets with their brand new M777 howitzers.

m777 howitzer
File Image: M777 howitzer

M777 Howitzers Reinforcing Kiev’s Defenses

The M777 is a 155mm field howitzer produced by BAE Systems. It can unleash Excalibur guided shells and has a 40-kilometer effective firing range.

It is one of the most recent shipments of US armaments to land in Ukraine as part of military assistance. In addition to the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany are said to have delivered the M777 Howitzers to Kyiv.

According to a senior Pentagon official, dozens of Ukrainian military personnel have already completed training on new US-supplied weapons. “Up from roughly 200 [trained personnel] one week ago,” the officer noted, 310 troops were trained on US-made M777 howitzers.

As previously reported by the EurAsian Times, 50 more Ukrainians are currently being trained, and the United States has initiated new two-week maintenance training courses. A senior Department of Defense (DoD) official stated a few days ago that around 60% of the 90 howitzers slated for delivery were in Ukraine, along with 155 mm ammunition.

“We do believe that these howitzers will be … very, very effective in helping [the Ukrainians] in the Donbas fight, which we’ve already seen,” the official had said at the time. These training programs are critical since the artillery has been shown to have a significant role in the ongoing conflict.

Image
Ukrainian forces with US-made M777 howitzer – Twitter

For instance, when Russian soldiers prepared to bridge the Severodonetsk River, the Ukrainian forces unleashed rounds of destructive artillery, smashing 80 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles. 

During a Pentagon press briefing, a senior US official also stated, “We do believe that the howitzers … are having an impact, particularly in Kharkiv. Now is that the only reason? I don’t think we would go that far to say that, but we do believe that the systems they’re getting — not just the US systems but the systems from other countries — are absolutely helping them regain some momentum and to take back some territory.”

Furthermore, defense analysts believe that integrating artillery fire with drones will give both the forces a significant advantage in Donbas, the eastern Ukraine coal-mining region that has become the main battleground.

Surveillance drones scout possible enemy targets, which are then hit with artillery. Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has demonstrated the successful use of drones on the battleground. 

SWITCHBLADE-DRONE
Switchblade 300 loitering munition. (via Twitter)

The US is also sending over 121 tactical drones to Ukraine. That includes the Switchblade and the all-new Phoenix Ghost. Ukraine has also utilized Turkish TB2 Bayraktar drones and its own home-grown armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), culminating in important military gains over Russia.

Meanwhile, the UK has also committed 12 AS90 155mm armored self-propelled artillery pieces, while the French military will supply 12 CAESAR 155mm trucked self-propelled howitzers to their Ukrainian counterparts. Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands have also signaled that they will send PzH 2000 SP 155mm self-propelled howitzers or M109 Paladins to Ukraine. 

 

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