M777 Howitzer was sent by the United States, which believes the weapon can change the course of the war
The United States sent to Ukraine 90 weapons of the Howitzer M777 type, a howitzer (a kind of cannon) to fire projectiles. The dispatch of this weapon had already been made official for some time, but there was still no certainty that the Ukrainian army was using it. Now, in a report by The New York Times in eastern Ukraine, journalists have confirmed that weapons are indeed on the war scene.
This is an important step, since, according to the same publication, it is the most powerful weapon provided by the West to Ukraine. It has the longest range and is faster and easier to hide than other weapons of the genre.
Major General Agostinho Costa explains to CNN Portugal that it is the “top gun of artillery”, the “best weapon”, in the end. However, the soldier talks about a “detail”, saying that it is necessary to understand in what conditions the weapons were delivered.
“What makes the difference in the M777 are the extras, it’s not just the tube. It’s the same thing as buying a high-end car and not putting the electronics in it”, he says, pointing out that differentiating instruments such as the digital system, namely the GPS, helps to direct the fired ammunition.
Agostinho Costa understands if it is confirmed that the United States did not send the entire system, stressing that it could be dangerous if this type of highly equipped weaponry fell into Russian hands.
More confident are the Ukrainians. “This weapon brings us closer to victory,” says Colonel Roman Kachur, speaking to The New York Times. The commander of the 55th artillery brigade of the Ukrainian army commands the first unit to use this weapon, but, in the style of what has been done, he calls for help to continue: “With all modern weapons, accurate weapons, we are more close to victory.”
Agostinho Costa is more cautious, referring not to want to enter “neither optimism nor pessimism”, pointing to the need to wait two weeks for the real effects of these weapons to begin to be perceived.
“We will have to wait, first to see if the digital system is on the battlefield, and then to see what the true effects are”, he adds, noting that there are also different ammunitions that can be used in these weapons.
However, although 90 Howitzers have been deployed, only about 12 are in use. One of the problems is that few Ukrainians know how to operate this weapon with precision, not least because it is a rare weapon in the overwhelming majority of armies: in addition to the United States, which debuted it in the war in Afghanistan in 2005, only Australia and Canada have it.
The issue of training is one of the most important. US troops have already taught 200 Ukrainian soldiers how to operate the weapons in six-day courses at bases in Germany. This group was then split in half, with 100 of them sent to the front, and the other 100 being responsible for training more soldiers. Experts indicate that it could be weeks before the 90 weapons can all be operational.
Hidden in the bushes of the war scene, these weapons have already fired almost two thousand projectiles, according to the Ukrainian authorities, which will have served to destroy Russian vehicles, but also to kill some enemy soldiers.
The main objective is precisely to reach Russian military infrastructure, reducing the forces installed by destroying military equipment and command posts, says Colonel Kachur. But the weapon can also have a defensive character, and Ukraine’s 55th artillery battalion guarantees that this has already happened: Howitzers were used to dismantle Russian bombings.
The Battle of the Howitzers
Who also confirms the use of M777 Howitzers by Ukraine is Russia, but with the intention of discrediting the use of that weapon as something decisive.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, weapons of the Giatsint-S type, known as the Howitzer developed by the Soviet Union, are destroying the military power and infrastructure of the Ukrainian army, including the weapons sent by the Americans.
“In the process of achieving its objectives, a set of Giatsint-S systems eliminated a unit of US-made M777 Howitzers,” read a government statement, which is quoted by the state agency TASS.
Source: With Agencies (CNN PORTUGAL)