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Ukraine Will Give Russia Problems Thanks to U.S. 155mm Howitzers

Ukraine
Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, fire a M777 towed 155 mm Howitzer on Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, Aug. 10, 2019. The Soldiers conducted a fire mission to disrupt known enemy positions. As long as Daesh presents a threat, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve remains committed to enabling its defeat. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Spc. DeAndre Pierce)

Ukraine may not be totally satisfied with military aid from the United States and NATO countries, but they can’t complain about the latest shipment of hardware they received from Washington. They are getting 155mm howitzers to blast the Russians in the Donbas phase of the war. These artillery pieces are likely comprised of M777 lightweight towed howitzers, an updated and modern version of the guns.

Let’s take a look at the M777 to see how it can make a difference on the battlefield for Ukraine.

One Step Closer to Combat

Ukraine received its first shipment of 155mm howitzers to Europe on April 20 as part of the most recent $800 million assistance package from the United States to Ukraine. American troops will be training at least 50-Ukrainian artillery officers and non-commissioned officers so they can take this learning and replicate it with troops in Ukraine.

What a Great Gift for Ukraine

They are likely training on the M777. This is a lighter-weight towed howitzer that has better range and accuracy compared to the 1970s Soviet-era 2A65 “Msta-B” towed artillery piece that Ukraine is using. With the M777 the Ukrainians will employ the 155mm shell against the Russians instead of the older 152mm round for the Msta-B. This will help the Ukrainian army to better bombard Russian positions.

More Ammunition Than Expected

The Americans are supplying the Ukrainian artillery forces with an impressive number of rounds – 40,000 of the 155mm munitions. That’s a huge number because the M777 has a finite number of shells it can fire before the tube needs maintenance. So, the 40,000 shells will last a long time.

155mm Shell Is Versatile

The other advantage of the 155mm caliber is the number of different uses for each projectile. There is the baseline high-explosive fragmentary, but also smoke, illumination, and extended range. Artillery rounds have fuses that determine how the round explodes. So 155mm shells have different fuse types: point detonating, delay, and airburst. These capabilities will be a boost for the Ukrainian artillery forces.

The M777 is 7,500 pounds which are on the light side for towed howitzers. There is some titanium used during construction. This allows the 35-foot-long gun to be transported quickly by truck or helicopter. And they can be packed on cargo airplanes easier which explains how rapidly they arrived in Europe.

Large Crew That Needs to be Trained

It does take eight soldiers to fire the M777 which means training is important. But an experienced crew can shoot five rounds per minute. Soldiers who rehearse crew tasks on the M777 can set it up in six minutes. Then the trucks can pull the howitzers to a new position after a fire mission. The M777 can engage targets that are 18-miles away. The highly-accurate digital computer fire control operation is what makes the M777 stand apart. Called the Towed Artillery Digitization system, it also uses GPS for targeting and can be fed relayed data from drones.

Multi-Domain Fires

A Soldier conducts registration and calibration for the M777A2 howitzer weapon system in Syria, Sept. 30, 2021. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Isaiah J Scott

U.S. Army Hypersonic

Third Platoon, Bravo Battery of the Automatic Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, lit up the Zabul province night by firing illumination from their M777A2, 155 mm howitzer at suspected enemy movements from FOB Pasab, Zharay District, Zabul province, Afghanistan, July 20, 2011. Photo by Sgt. Christopher McCann

Newer Munitions May Not Be Forthcoming for Ukraine

It remains to be seen whether Ukraine will receive the more advanced shells from the Americans. It is not likely they will get the laser-guided M712 Copperhead and GPS-guided M982 Excalibur. But the high-explosive baseline rounds will still yield ample firepower.

The most important requirement for this artillery piece is training since it has a digital operation component. The Ukrainians must be trained quickly and able to teach soldiers who are used to firing Soviet equipment. But with such a load of ammunition donated by the United States, the Ukrainians will likely be in business for months before they need new shells.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, Ph.D., is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Michael Nunez

    April 21, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Can be towed by a Ford F-150 , and hiding it does not take much . This can be a real nightmare for Russian batteries trying to set up .

  2. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    The militia of Donbass is once again grateful for the help of the United States. If only a few howitzers remained after the bombing.

  3. CK

    April 22, 2022 at 5:49 am

    Good. Happy to see orcs dying with smiles on their faces as they receive 155mm shells.

  4. Bertram

    April 22, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Every one will kill more Russian soldiers.
    Great thing!
    We can build more artillery faster than you can breed soldiers.

  5. Alex

    April 23, 2022 at 9:35 am

    If it is interesting to see how the Bandera Nazis manage NATO equipment – give the monkey a grenade and watch 🙂

  6. CK

    April 23, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    It’s funny Alex, because even a monkey with a grenade would probably be more combat effective than the poor Russian morons you charitably refers as “soldiers”.

    You’d have a lot to learn from a monkey.

  7. Brad Falck

    April 24, 2022 at 3:04 am

    Canada is sending m777 aswell

  8. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 4:36 am

    You can immediately see the Bandera Nazi: a beggar, an evil bastard who runs after everyone who is against the Bandera Nazis and squeals – this is great 🙂
    Near Odessa, Russian hypersonic weapons destroyed warehouses with new NATO weapons. I wonder if those toys were there?

  9. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 6:26 am

    Beggar? I beg your pardon? The only begging I see here is the one remaining brain cell in your head, begging to be put out of its misery and humiliation.

    Also, given the “accuracy” of all your other weapons, probably just a mother and her 3 month old baby.

    Also, poor you man, they are making you work on Orthodox Easter? The night money Sveta brings not enough to keep you guys afloat anymore? Let me know if you need any donations. I’m sure I have a few cents lying around that will be worth a fortune in roubles!

  10. Eric

    April 25, 2022 at 12:03 am

    Excalibur Precision-Guided, Extended-Range Artillery Shells are now on their way to Ukrainian forces, where they will be sending them to Russian military positions in Ukraine. Good luck with that.

  11. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 10:41 am

    Yes, Russia has big “problems”:
    There is the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is the Luhansk People’s Republic. Kherson applied to Russia for a referendum to establish the Kherson People’s Republic. God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

  12. CK

    April 25, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Yes Alex, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also re-applied to join the Russian Federation. In this reality, Putin has conquered his hemorrhoids, and you and Sveta live happily ever after.

    It’s nice to sit back and daydream, isn’t it? 🙂

  13. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 2:12 am

    Why is Russia with the people’s militia of Donbass taking new territories of Ukraine every day? Let’s figure it out:

    The West failed to turn much of the world against Russia after the military operation in Ukraine began, columnist Howard French wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.
    According to him, many states did not support sanctions against Moscow, including such large countries as India and China.

    “In fact, when counting the population of these countries, it becomes clear that the states representing the majority of humanity have not taken a position in this conflict, seeing in it the familiar echoes of the former rivalry between East and West,” said French.
    According to the observer, the international political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century from the very beginning gave the countries of the “third world” the status of second-class states. As an example, he cited the colonization of Africa by European countries.

    “It was the work of the enslaved millions of people who grew sugar and cotton in huge quantities, cleared the land and did all other unpaid work that made the American colonies profitable for Europe, and the so-called “Old World” new and rich,” the author emphasized.

    French urged not to ignore the heightened sense of justice among the former colonized peoples.

    “The whole world” with Ukraine 🙂

    • H

      April 27, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      Alex, you are unfortunately right. The only winner feom the Ukraine invasion is China that can stand aside and take what will be left of Russia. They laugh all the way to the bank… Europe will suffer a financial downturn and increased military spend. NATO will grow and the move from fossil economy to reduce import from Russia will accelerate…
      Independent of the result of the war, there is one real loser.

  14. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 7:28 am

    Well Alex, if that is the case, we wish you the best of luck with your new Chinese masters. I hear they are very kind to minorities.

  15. CL

    April 28, 2022 at 1:47 am

    Australia is also sending Ukraine another six M777s. Total tally of heavy artillery pieces being sent to Ukraine from NATO have exceeded 200, or the equivalent of eleven battalions.

  16. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:26 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  17. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

  18. Rick Richardson

    June 8, 2022 at 1:07 am

    The minimum gun crew is 5 with 7 being a standard and includes the truck crew.

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