Artillery vehicle

The Russian army lost more than 300 artillery pieces in Ukraine. The old howitzers could replace them.

The Russian army is struggling to replenish its depleted and depleted artillery batteries. According to the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of Warfare, satellite imagery indicates the Army removed 60 old 2S7 203-millimeter tracked howitzers from storage in late July.

This is a third of the 2S7s the army had stored at the 9th Arsenal in Omsk, in the vast Russian region of Siberia.

The huge withdrawal of old howitzers is consistent with Kremlin efforts, five months after the start of Russia’s wider war against Ukraine, to make good losses in personnel and equipment.

According to the outside estimate that you believe, the Russian armed forces lost between 15,000 and 30,000 soldiers killed and several times that number wounded. Confirmed vehicle losses include over 4,800 tanks, combat vehicles and artillery pieces.

Artillery losses – 320 towed and self-propelled howitzers and heavy mortars plus rocket launchers – are significant. The Russian army has lost more artillery in Ukraine than many Western armies have in their combined arsenals.

These losses only include two 2S7s that independent analysts can confirm. The Russian army entered Ukraine with more than 100 47-ton howitzers. The army is unlikely to expand its artillery force structure – it even struggles to recruit enough infantry to replenish existing brigades.

Instead, it is possible that the Russians will use the previously stockpiled 2S7s to replace other artillery pieces such as the hundred or so 152mm guns the Ukrainians have knocked out or captured.

It’s also possible that these 2S7s from Omsk are replacing 2S7s that the military has yet to officially cancel, but which are worn out to the point of failure. Of note is the flurry of recent photographic evidence of Russian tube artillery with “banana peel” barrels exploding in the middle of filming due to a lack of timely replacement.

Among the largest tube artillery pieces in the world, the 1970s 2S7 can launch a 220 pound shell 35 miles. It’s complex and noisy, but its range (several kilometers more than most Ukrainian guns can fire) makes up for its heaviness.

The 2S7 has an advantage in an artillery versus artillery “counter-battery” duel, as it can hit an enemy gun farther than the enemy gun can. this.

But not always. The Ukrainians have a hundred 2S7s of their own. And they’ve also acquired dozens of the most modern Western-made 155mm howitzers, some of which can fire almost as far as the 2S7 can.

The biggest threat to the new old Russian 2S7s may be the Ukrainian arsenal of American-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System wheeled launchers. Rapidly firing GPS-guided rockets up to 50 miles, HIMARS is the ideal counter-battery weapon. Kyiv has so far acquired 16 HIMARS.

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