The Russian military has destroyed a number of M777 155 mm towed howitzers recently delivered to Kiev forces in a coordinated attack.
The howitzers, which were deployed near the settlement of Podgornoe, were uncovered by a drone, which immediately targeted them. The initial strike damaged two howitzers.
After the drone strike, the howitzers were moved into a nearby wooded area. An artillery strike hit the area, destroying the howitzers and their support equipment. Footage of the coordinated attack were released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on May 18.
In the last few weeks, Kiev forces received a total of 100 M777 howitzers, 90 of which were donated by the US, four by Canada and six by Australia. As of May 17, more than 130,000 155 mm shells for the howitzers have been shipped to Ukraine.
The M777 howitzer has a maximum rate of fire of seven rounds per minute with a range of up to 40 kilometers when firing Excalibur precision-guided rounds. The howitzers supplied to Kiev forces were reportedly downgraded. All digital fire control systems were removed from them before they were sent to Ukraine.
During a Pentagon press briefing on May 16, a senior Defense Department official claimed that the M777 howitzers supplied by the US to Kiev forces are having a big impact on the battlefield. However, this does not appear to be the case.
The West believes that it will be able to turn the tide on the battlefield in Ukraine by arming Kiev forces with heavy weapons like M777 howitzers. The main goal of the West is to thwart the Russian special military operation in the country.