Artillery types

Photos: Can M777 artillery help Ukraine defeat Russia?

How powerful are the M777 artillery pieces that the United States and its allies are donating to Ukraine? Can they really turn the tide against Putin in Donbass and other parts of Ukraine? In the 1950s, the Soviet Union dominated the artillery armament class with its D-30 Field Howitzer. Some countries can dominate in several categories of weapons at the same time. Take the example of the United States: at the same time, we field the best fighterthe best tank and the best towed field howitzer in the world is the M777.

The West and the NATO countries have recognized that the war of Russian aggression in Ukraine has become, on the whole, a war of dueling artillery exchanges. So, Ukraine argued for the competing word, the M777 ultralight field howitzer (Triple777), and soon received 90 M777 howitzer guns in the first shipment from the American NATO members Great Britain , Canada and France also supplied Ukraine with howitzers, bringing the total to 106. tubes (artillery guns).

The powerful and precise M777

The M777 Howitzer is considered lightweight at 9,300 pounds due to the use of many lightweight titanium parts. It can reach up to 25 miles (depending on ammo). It is incredible to me that with the help of special ammunition the M777 can hit a target 25 miles away with a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 16 feet. CEP defines how many feet of error you get with certain ammo: the greater the distance, the greater the CEP.

The M777 can use a technology called Rocket assisted projectile (RAP) to give it an extra push towards longer distances. It also achieves increased accuracy with its M982 GPS inertial-guided Excalibur rounds.

I find it interesting how the technology develops with weapon systems like these: once the creators have taken the last drop of blood out of the gun and the carrier, they start looking for corollaries of superiority like ammunition of the M777. Accurate Excalibur ammunition can be fired in hover mode so its top can be programmed by the shooter, instructing it to hover at a low or high angle to the target.

The howitzer gunner can also program from what azimuth he wants the bullet to hit the target; this could be a significant advantage if the target has taken cover.

USA sends its best

I am proud of the United States’ contribution to the Ukrainian people and of the Ukrainians’ persistence in fighting the most powerful Russian army. We are giving Ukraine our big M777 guns to help them; we didn’t just stuff them with relics and wish them luck. I believe that the donation of the M777 batteries is a very honest demonstration of our desire to see our Ukrainian brothers and sisters achieve peace and success.

U.S. soldiers assigned to Attack Battery, 2-12th Field Artillery Battalion, Task Force Rock, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct registration and calibration of the M777 A2 Howitzer weapon system in Syria on September 30, 2021. These drills allow gun sections to deliver rapid and accurate fire in support of TF Rock and their fight to defeat Daesh in designated areas of Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Isaiah Scott). These are similar to M777 parts serving in Ukraine.


U.S. Marines fire an M777 Howitzer during Exercise Rolling Thunder 1-22 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S., October 19, 2021. Photo taken October 19, 2021. US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Brian Bolin Jr./Handout

M77 Artillery

US military artillery M777. Ukraine now has a similar system.


U.S. Marines with India Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire an M777A2 Lightweight Howitzer during Exercise 14 MEU aboard Camp Pendleton, in Calif., Nov. 17, 2014. The purpose of MEUEX is to train the various elements of the 15th MEU to work together to accomplish various missions. (US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean R. Berry/Released)

M777A2 howitzer

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 2-11 Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conduct artillery training on Warrior Base, New Mexico Range, Demilitarized Zone, Republic of Korea, March 15, 2015. The training was a part of the joint training exercise Foal Eagle 2015 between the armies of the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK). (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Steven Hitchcock/Released)


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 during Korean Maritime Exchange Program 13-5, part of Ssang Yong 13 in the Republic of Korea April 17, 2013. The CALFEX illustrates how the annual Ssang Yong exercise supports ongoing efforts to build combat readiness in US and ROK forces. (US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jose D. Lujano III MEF PAO/Released)

George Hand is a U.S. Army Master Sergeant (Retired) with the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, Delta Force. In service, he maintained a high level of proficiency in 6 foreign languages. After the military, George worked as a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE) at the nuclear test site north of Las Vegas in Nevada for 16 years. Currently, George works as an intelligence analyst and street operative in the fight against human trafficking. A fine master cabinetmaker and master photographer, George is a man of varied interests and varied talents.