Artillery price

After all the foreign artillery deliveries, why does Ukraine demand more and better weapons? – Kyiv Post

Ukraine is very grateful for all the guns, howitzers and rockets the West has sent. But the Ukrainians want more – especially high-tech precision rockets with much more range.

No less than Valery Zaluzhny, commander of the Ukrainian army and a man rarely willing to make public statements (much less on social media), in a May 26 Telegram post, said: “We badly need weapons capable of hitting the enemy at long range. There should be no delay, because the price of waiting is the lives of our people, who are defending the world from Russia.

On the same day, Kyiv spin-docs released Oleksiy Arestovych, one of the Ukrainian government’s most vocal war commentators. In remarks broadcast on social media and repeated by most major Ukrainian TV channels, Arestovitch said Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) units in the Donbass were almost shattered by powerful Russian attacks that only new Western weapons better ones might regrow.

“They (Western nations) pass a test of morality and competence (адекватность), and they fail,” Arestovitch said. “They are giving in to Putin’s threats…and they don’t want to send anti-rocket artillery to Ukraine.”

Ukrainian allegations of Western artillery greed came, incongruously, as news surfaced that Russia’s recent series of rather bloody defeats were due, primarily, to Ukrainian gunners using American guns. firing shells to NATO standards.

According to multiple sources, heavy shelling by dozens of American-made M777 howitzers deployed in central Donbass eviscerated RF units attempting to cross the Siviersky Donets River in early May, preventing an RF breakthrough and the encirclement of thousands of troops. of the UAF. UAF Brigadier General Oleksy Hromov attributed the victories directly to foreign guns.

“There was an artillery division of M777 155mm howitzers. The distance between the firing positions and the impact zone was about 20 kilometers. The target was an enemy river crossing near the village of Bilohorodivka. The result was five direct hits on a pontoon bridge and the destruction of 40 enemy tanks and armored personnel carriers,” Hromov said.

NATO guns backed by modern targeting radars are so accurate, Hromov said, that an M777 can do the damage of four Soviet-era guns. Hromov’s remarks, made public the same day Arestovych complained that the West was not doing enough on the arms supply front, were the UAF’s first public confirmation of the use mass of M777 guns, or any foreign howitzer, on a Ukrainian battlefield.

According to Pentagon statistics, the United States has sent 108 NATO-standard M777 towed howitzers to Ukraine, 85 of which are already “forward” with Ukrainian combat units. In addition to the guns, 209,000 rounds of 155 mm have been shipped, of which 190,000 shells are in UAF depots or ammunition dumps and are ready for use. Training UAF troops is another facet of the delivery pipeline, and so far the United States has trained 419 UAF gunners in the use of the M777 howitzer and 30 other mechanics in the advanced maintenance, the Pentagon official said.

Canada, Britain and Australia, France and Italy have also donated 155mm howitzer artillery to Ukraine, collectively less than 40 guns, according to dispatches.

Military analysts have said that the Russian-Ukrainian war in Kyiv Post is a conventional conflict involving more than half a million soldiers and tens of thousands of combat vehicles, and simply the 150 modern guns that the West sent to Ukraine so far are probably not enough to force the RF army to retreat.

“I think one explanation (for continued Ukrainian calls for more weapons) is the discrepancy between public expectations (Western weapons will defeat Russia) and the capability of what’s actually delivered,” Mykola said. Beleskov, a military and security analyst at the National Institute for Strategic Research headquartered in Kyiv.

“They (NATO guns) had a definite effect on the battlefield, but no one can say that there is no need for more,” Beleskov said, in an interview with Kyiv Post.

Beleskov said the UAF would need to field “at least another 500” 155mm guns, before they could really dictate the terms of an artillery battle where and when they wanted.

Additionally, analysts say Kyiv may well use rockets or missiles capable of long-range strikes that are accurate enough to hit dead center at a 12-digit GPS coordinate containing a critical railway bridge or ISIS headquarters. RF army.

“There’s no doubt that they would be a real game-changer and it’s entirely reasonable for Ukrainians to ask for them,” Mark Cancian, senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies (CISS), said in an interview with Kyiv Post. “These systems use GPS…once you have a target, you program it into the grids, and it lands there.”

Oleh Izhak, an analyst with the Kyiv-based National Institute for Strategic Studies, said RF forces are now advancing in Donbass because “Ukraine simply has no more missiles for the MLRS to destroy the rear RF… the RF has a powerful advantage in terms of the number of barrels and the supply of shells Western artillery help began to be provided, but not enough to compensate for the Russian advantage.

Cancian said the UAF could be reaching the limit of its ability to integrate new technologies, and warned that the UAF’s failure to operate a new weapons system competently could “undermine the consensus to send force.” ‘equipment”. Similarly, the United States is highly unlikely to send weapons capable of reaching hundreds of kilometers, such as the state-of-the-art US HIMARS rocket system, to Ukraine due to concerns over strikes. of the UAF deep in Russia, he said.

Izhak said the UAF needs more of everything, especially long-range systems, if it is ever going to push the Russian military out of Ukraine, and maybe even just to hold current lines.

“The supply of weapons for the counter-offensive (UAF) is the key issue of the day,” Izhak said. “That will decide everything. This is the raw number of guns on the ground and the ability of long-range artillery (UAF) to destroy the rear (RF) – Ukraine is actually short of multiple launch rocket systems .

The Pentagon official who transferred one or both of the US deep-strike capable rocket artillery systems – the track-mounted M270 and the truck-mounted HIMARS – to Ukraine is “under discussion”. The US decision on whether or not to arm Ukraine with long-range precision rockets “will be announced when it is announced”, he said.

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