More than 10 M777 Howitzer, which the US aided to Ukraine, were destroyed in just one day; The US quickly removed the GPS navigation device from the M777 artillery that aided Ukraine. What’s going on with America’s “super artillery”?
At the beginning of May, the Ukrainian Army began to equip the US -aided M777A2 155mm towed howitzer; When starting to equip the M777, many “experts” rejoiced, believing that the Ukrainian Army had acquired a real “weapon to destroy Russia”.
During the “Kharkiv counterattack” of the Ukrainian Army in early May, some even shouted the slogan “Use long-range counter-attack weapons M777 every day” and said that, right after delivering the M777 artillery into combat, the Russian Army will be “wiped out”.
But right in the “launching” battle in May, the M777 was destroyed by the Russian Army and publicized the image via the UAV captured; but it did not cause too much “turbulence” until few days back when the Russian Defense Ministry announced the destruction of many Western artillery aids to Ukraine.
Rus claims to have destroyed about a dozen m777 yesterday while being offloaded near some frontal position. Here seems another case… dont know if related pic.twitter.com/a2F61K3xWG
— dharmic aeroplate v2 (@daeroplate_v2) June 21, 2022
According to the news of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the video was released about the destruction of more than 10 M777A2 howitzers, by Russian counter-fire. In addition to the previously destroyed M777s, in less than a month, about a fifth of the more than 100 M777s that the US aided, was destroyed.
So, what happened to the M777 howitzer, and why has it been destroyed so much by the Russian Army in recent days? There are many reasons, as mentioned before, how well the M777 howitzer, no matter how well shot, cannot hide the weaknesses of a light trailer cannon.
Since it is can’t move independently, the performance of the M777 cannot exceed the performance of wheel or track based howlizer; That is to follow the correct procedure. The first is to occupy the firing range, but the howitzer in a fighting position, artillery equipment, takes direction, get the firing element, load the bullet, and shoot. The operations of the M777 gunner are still mostly manual.
Therefore, the reaction speed of this towed cannon is of course not equal to that of self-propelled artillery, no matter how high the automation and fire control ability of the M777 is, the operation time cannot be fast. Because the operations are still mainly manual, not automatic.
In the event that the Russian Army widely uses self-propelled guns such as 2S3 and 2S19 on the battlefield, the M777 is naturally lower than the Russian artillery in terms of features. In addition, the US also dismantled the fire control module of the M777, so its performance is no better than the existing Ukrainian towed artillery.
At the same time, the battlefield situation, which the Ukrainian Army faced in the Sieverodonetsk region, also caused great difficulties for Ukrainian artillery; due to the depth that the Ukrainian Army controls is just over 20km, especially at the T-1302 highway, on the southern line of the Sieverodonetsk region.
With such a battlefield situation, the arrangement of the firing range of Ukrainian artillery is only within a range of more than 20 km. Within this 20 km range, the Russian Army has deployed a large number of reconnaissance UAVs guarding 24/7, continuously observing in real time, able to immediately detect Ukrainian artillery positions.
More seriously, the Ukrainian Army did not dare to place the M777 battlefield too far behind, for example, placing it on the banks of the North Donetsk River, with the aim of being as far away from the front line as possible; in order to limit the ability to counter artillery fire from Russian artillery.
However, the north bank of the North Donetsk River is now under the control of the Russian Army, if the artillery is placed on the south bank, it is far from the Russian army on the northern front, but closer to the Russian army on the southern front. But it was the northern front where the main fighting took place.
Therefore, the M777 guns that were recently destroyed by Russian counter-attacks, the battlefield of these cannons is less than 10 kilometers from the front line. Because the front line was too close, the Russians did not need to use 2S19 and 2S7M self-propelled artillery to suppress the M777 artillery field.
At close range, Russian artillery units can even use MT-12 anti-tank guns to suppress M777 battlefields. Because it is an anti-tank gun, the MT-12 has a low flight path, and even the artillery’s reconnaissance radar cannot detect the ballistics; can be said to bring surprises.
In the opinion of some independent military analysts, many Ukrainian military leaders have an excessive cult of NATO weapons; they fall into the doctrine of “worship of weapons”, but forget the old saying: “It is people, not weapons, that determine the outcome of the war”.
All weapons must prove their vitality through actual combat, possibly the M777 cannon suitable for low-intensity conflicts, or wars against terrorism waged by the US. But in an all-out war with high intensity, the opponent is Russia, the M777 howitzer (and many other weapons), which has revealed fatal weaknesses.
According to the latest information, because the M777 is equipped with GPS satellite navigation systems, to quickly determine the coordinates of the battlefield, take the direction of fire when occupying and use a number of guided bullets. But it also exposes the location when using this device.
The fact that Ukraine’s M777 artillery units use GPS satellite navigation systems to detect the location of the Russian weapons. Once the GPS is on of M777 it takes only 10min for Russin army to detect the actual location of M777. Taking into account the relatively low mobility of the M777 artillery, this allowed the Russians to quickly launch counter-attacks on the positions of Ukrainian artillery.
According to official information from the US and open sources, only about 10 M-777 in service with the Ukrainian Army are still fighting, while about three dozen other cannons are being repaired and temporarily unusable. All of Ukraine’s M777 cannons have now removed the GPS navigation system, to keep it a secret from Russian reconnaissance.