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Ukraine’s Secret Weapon: US Military M777 Howitzers Are Pounding Russia

M777. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
U.S. Marines with Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force attached to 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd MarDiv, III MEF, fire the M777A2 155mm howitzer in support of a combined arms live-fire exercise at Rodriguez Live-Fire Complex during Korean Marine Exchange Program 13-5, part of Ssang Yong 13 in the Republic of Korea April 17, 2013. The CALFEX illustrates how the annual exercise Ssang Yong supports ongoing efforts to strengthen combat readiness in both U.S. and ROK forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jose D. Lujano III MEF PAO/Released)

The M777 Is Ready for War Against Russia – The war in Ukraine continues, and the Ukrainian military is fighting back, forcing the Russian military to withdraw in several places.

The fighting is concentrated in eastern Ukraine and the Donbas region, where the Ukrainian military is now able to look the Russians in the eye after receiving scores of artillery pieces.

American Howitzers Making a Difference 

The U.S. military has been the single largest contributor of artillery guns to Ukraine after committing 90 M777 155mm howitzers and hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery shells. The weapon systems have boosted the Ukrainian military’s long-range fires capabilities, allowing Ukrainian commanders to strike targets deep behind enemy lines.

When the Russian military repeatedly attempted to ford the Severodonetsk River last week, the Ukrainian military launched barrage after barrage of devastating artillery on the Russian positions, destroying approximately 80 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles.

“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 U.S. systems but the systems from other countries — are absolutely helping them regain some momentum and to take back some territory,” a senior U.S. official said during a Pentagon press briefing.

The Ukrainian military has been using its newly acquired artillery pieces very effectively. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, an artillery barrage—presumably by M-777 howitzers—against the field headquarters of the Russian 810th marine brigade on Wednesday killed three and wounded 14 Russian officers, including the brigade commander, acting brigade chief signals officer, two battalion commanders, and one artillery commander.

Both sides have been suffering losses, though. A video released by the Russian military showed a tactical unmanned aerial system dropping a munition on top of a Ukrainian M-777 155mm howitzer.

“That is not to say that losses are not being sustained on both sides. They are, both in terms of forces but also in terms of equipment and weapon systems. It’s a real gunfight in the Donbas, literally, with artillery being exchanged every single day and the Russians [continuing] to fly airstrikes,” the senior U.S. defense official added.

Western Artillery to Ukraine 

The 155 mm M777 towed howitzers supplied by the U.S. and other types supplied by ally and partner nations to Ukraine are having a big impact on the battlefield, a senior Defense Department official said at a Pentagon press briefing today.

But the U.S. military isn’t the sole entity that has been providing Ukraine with artillery pieces. The Ukrainian military has asked and has received long-range fires systems from several other NATO countries, including France, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.


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)

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

In addition to 90 M777 155mm Howitzers, the Pentagon has committed to Ukraine, Canada and Australia are sending several more artillery pieces of the same type.

The United Kingdom has also committed 12 AS90 155mm armored self-propelled artillery pieces, while the French military will be sending its Ukrainian counterpart 12 CEASAR 155mm trucked self-propelled howitzers. Three more NATO countries are sending self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Italy, Belgium, and the Netherland have indicated that they are going to send Ukraine PzH 2000 SP 155mm self-propelled howitzers or M109 Paladins.

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 InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise 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.