The Ukrainian military is using three different types of 155mm howitzers in the Donbas. Recently, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense came out with an update on which artillery pieces are being used on the frontlines against the Russian forces.
The 155mm Howitzers
According to the Ukrainian military, the M-777 (provided by U.S., Australia, and Canada), FH-70 (provided by Estonia), and CEASAR (provided by France) 155mm howitzers are on the ground in the Donbas and making a difference in the fighting.
“Let me remind you that three types of 155-mm artillery are already working successfully on the front lines: M777 howitzers, FH70 howitzers and CAESAR SPHs. It was simply impossible to imagine this back in March. But today it is already a reality which materialized due to great teamwork led by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky,” Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov said in a press release.
“We’ve been talking about howitzers recently. So we’ve committed now over 100 howitzers, and most of them are actually not only in Ukraine but actually in the fight, according to the Ukrainians who tell us that. So we’re adapting as much in real time as we can, as they have to adapt in real time because the fighting in the Donbas changes and in the south as well,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a press briefing.
The U.S. military believes that their M-777 155mm howitzer contribution is making a change on the frontlines.
“All I can tell you is what the Ukrainians tell us, what Mr. Reznikov has told Secretary Austin, and that is that the M777 howitzers have definitely made a significant difference on the battlefield, and they are using them in various places, and they’re using them with very good effect. . . We know, for instance, that they have definitely used them in the Donbas, and we know that they’ve used them effectively against Russian formations there in the Donbas,” the Pentagon press secretary added.
In addition to the artillery pieces, the U.S. military is providing the Ukrainian military with gunnery and maintaining courses.
“The amount of feedback in the public space from our soldiers who have gained experience in using foreign-made heavy artillery is growing. I am glad that a lion’s share of this feedback is extremely positive. Thanks to the skill of our defenders, the russian [sic] occupiers are receiving a rebuff they did not expect,” Reznikov added.
“We know from talking to them that the howitzers we’re providing have been very effective, and they’ve said so, and that they have made good use of the counter-artillery radars that we have provided and continue to provide,” Kirby said.
Dozens of countries have sent Ukraine weapon systems and other materiel. But when it comes to artillery, only 13 countries have sent or committed artillery pieces, self-propelled and towed.
The U.S. is by far the largest contributor of artillery pieces—and indeed of weapon systems in general—to Ukraine. The Pentagon has sent or committed 108 M-777 155mm howitzers to the Ukrainian military.
Poland is the latest country to send Ukraine artillery pieces with 18 155mm AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.