Artillery price

M777 howitzer: US artillery pound the Russians in Ukraine

Despite the more publicized feats of high-tech anti-tank missiles providing infantry with unprecedented firepower, towed artillery remained the bedrock of Russian power when President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine. on February 24, 2022.

While mustering all the weapons at its disposal, Ukraine appealed to the Western powers for artillery capable of matching, or better yet, surpassing and surpassing the Russian guns. Among the most sought after is a British-designed, US-produced land gun, the M777A2.

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M777 HOWITZER HISTORY

Ever since the cannon established itself as a viable weapon, military forces have called artillery the “king of battle”. At least as far back as Peter the Great’s 1709 victory at Poltava in what is now Ukraine, big field guns have been the often overlooked element of success on the Russian battlefield, from Balaclava to Kursk. .

The ultra-light field howitzer was developed in the early 1980s by Shipbuilding and Vickers Engineeringof the Armaments Division in Barrow-on-Furness, UK. The successful design was later purchased by BAE Systems Global Combat Systems Division in Hattiesville, Mississippi, and after testing entered production in the United States, which accounted for 70% of new howitzers at an average cost of $39,500 per unit.

Tested at Yuma’s Proving Ground in Arizona in 1999, with 13 of 14 shells landing at or within 10 yards of their targets, the latest variant, the M777A2, entered US military service in 2005. They first saw combat in Afghanistan , where in June 2012 gunners from Golf Battery, Battalion B, 11and Marine Regiment in Helmand Province fired an M982 Excalibur shell to score a direct hit at 22 miles – the longest gunfire in Navy history.

During the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, which ended in the final defeat of the Islamic State in Syria, American M777s from Firebase Saham supported the Syrian Democratic Forces in February and March 2019, even in weather conditions that prevented reconnaissance aircraft from assisting them.

The U.S. Army currently has 518 M777B2 systems, while the Marines have 481. Of the many foreign M777 users, India has 89, with another 120 under license to be built by Mahindra Defense, to support Indian forces in intermittent clashes with Chinese forces along their mountains. border region.

M777 Howitzer Specifications

At 35 feet long but weighing 9,300 pounds, the M777 is 41% lighter than the M198 it replaces in the U.S. Army and Navy, largely due to the greater amount of alloy from titanium and aluminum it uses. This allows it to be transported by C-130 aircraft, MV-22B Osprey rotorcraft or helicopters, as well as towed by FMTV and MTVR tractors. So many carry options, combined with its ease of concealment in fixed positions, give it an edge over its stablemate, the M109A6 Paladin 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, in combat environments where friendly forces lack air superiority.

Normally operated by eight gunners, the M777 can be handled by as few as five, with its rate of fire varying from two to seven 155mm rounds per minute.

Although the M777 originally used a simple optical sighting system, the M777A1 incorporates a digital fire control system that ensures exceptional accuracy at ranges up to 19 miles for its shells and up to 25 miles for its the special ammunition developed for the latest gun upgrade. , the M777A2 – the XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Extreme Range Tower and the M982 Excalibur Global Positioning System-Assisted Tower.

M777 Howitzer IN UKRAINE

On April 14, 2022, the United States announced that it would donate 18 M777A2s and 40,000 rounds to Ukraine. Since then, the United States has increased that total to 90 of the Marines’ M777A2 systems and 200,000 rounds of ammunition, including M982 Excalibur precision-guided munitions. Additionally, Australia sent six of its 54 guns at the end of April, and on April 22 Canada sent four of its arsenal of 37 M777s. On May 9, Ukrainian journalist Yurii Butusov published a video purporting to show M777s in action in eastern Ukraine, where the Russians had moved their main effort.

Pleased with the initial performance of a howitzer, the qualities of which promise to compensate for the greater number of its Russian counterparts, the Ukrainians demanded more from friendly nations.

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