Putin surely regrets his invasion of Ukraine as he thought he would have conquered the country by now.
Instead, the bravery of Ukraine – armed with western weapons – has indeed stalled any offensive Putin has tried to use to win the war.
What happens now? Social media might be able to answer that question:
Video Shows Precision Artillery Strike on Russian Air-Defense System
A 30-second video posted by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) on social media back in March highlighted how a well-trained and organized artillery unit was able to successfully target a Russian air defense platform.
The video, which is highly edited, shows a unit of the 406th Artillery Brigade on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson Oblast receiving target data from a drone, then preparing the fuse on the ordnance and finally firing its M777 towed 155mm howitzer.
When and exactly where the video was filmed is unclear, but Ukraine Weapons Tracker was quick to note the trees seen in the footage are conifer – a type of evergreen common in Ukraine, while the troops do appear bundled up for colder weather.
Ukrainian Howitzers in Action
It is one of the units known to operate the British-made M777 howitzer, which is manufactured by BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems division.
The 155mm artillery piece first entered service in 2005 and saw use in the War in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. It has been further employed in the Syrian and Yemeni Civil Wars, while Ukraine has been provided a total of 152 of the howitzers including 108 from the United States.
It is capable of firing the M982 Excalibur precision-guided munitions, which didn’t appear to be used in the video posted back in March.
However, it would seem that with some assistance from the drones, units such as the 406th Artillery Brigade are making every shot count.
One Fewer Russian Air Defense System
Based on the footage, the gun was successfully used to destroy the Russian 9A33BM3 Osa-AKM (NATO reporting name “SA-8 Gecko”) surface-to-air short-range air defense system, a platform that dates back to the Cold War. It is armed with six 9M33 variant missiles.
The 6×6 amphibious vehicle has a road range of around 500km (310 miles), while it is also air transportable.
Though it was originally developed for use with the Soviet Army, the Osa-AKM first saw use in combat during the Iran-Iraq War, and later in the Angolan Civil War – when one was captured by South African forces and subsequently examined by Western intelligence.
Despite its age, the platform has remained in the arsenals of former Soviet republics – including Russia and Ukraine.
The Kremlin reportedly has some 400 still in service, while an undisclosed number are employed by Kyiv’s forces.
#Ukraine: A Russian 9A33BM3 Osa-AKM short-range air defense system was destroyed by a precise artillery strike of the 406th Artillery Brigade on the left bank of the Dnipro River, #Kherson Oblast. pic.twitter.com/geaPeN2dni
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 10, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.