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The West is sending the superior M777 Field Artillery Howitzer to Ukraine

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(U.S. Marine canon cockers getting busy with an M-177 Field Artillery Piece.)

In the 1950s the Soviet Union held dominion in the artillery class of weaponry with its D-30 field howitzer. Some countries may hold dominion in several weapons categories at the same. Take the United States, for example: At the same time, we field the best fighter, the best tank, and the best towed-field howitzer in the world — the M777.


The West and NATO countries recognized that the war of Russian aggression in Ukraine has become, by and large, a war of dueling artillery exchanges. So, Ukraine pleaded for the word contender, the M777 (Triple777) Ultralight Field Howitzer, and promptly received 90 M777 howitzer guns in the first shipment from the U.S. NATO members Great Britain, Canada, and France also provided Ukraine with howitzers bringing the total to106 tubes (artillery guns).

The mighty and accurate M777

M777 Howitzer fires
An M777 howitzer during some high-angle night fire at a target that appears to be very close. (Asc.army)

The M777 howitzer is considered lightweight coming in at 9,300 pounds due to the use of many light titanium parts. It can reach out as far as 25 miles (ammunition dependent). It is unbelievable to me that with the aid of special ammunition the M777 can reach a target at 25 miles with a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 16 feet. CEP defines how many feet of error you get with certain ammunition: The greater the distance the larger the CEP.

The M777 can use a technology called Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP) to give it an extra push out to longer ranges. It also achieves increased accuracy due to its M982 GPS Inertially-guided Excalibur rounds.

It is interesting to me how the technology develops with weapons systems like these: Once the creators have tweaked the last drop of blood out of the gun and carrier, they start going after corollaries of superiority like the M777’s ammunition. The accurate Excalibur munition can be fired in glide mode such that its apex can be programmed in by the gunner, instructing it to glide in at a low or high angle to the target.

Related: Switchblade drones: Giving Ukraine an edge on the battlefield

Guided Excalibur munition for M777 howitzer
The guided Excalibur munition. Note the pop-out fins for stabilization and guidance. (Composition by the author/asc.army)

The howitzer’s gunner can also program what azimuth he wants the round to impact the target from; that could be a significant advantage if the target has assumed cover.

The US is sending its best

M777 Howitzer fires
An M777 shakes off the night dust with its first round of the morning. (aes.army)

I’m proud of the U.S.’s contribution to the Ukrainian people and of the Ukrainians’ perseverance to fight the more powerful Russian army. We are giving Ukraine our M777 big guns to help; we didn’t just shove some relics at them and wish them good luck. I believe the gift of the M777 batteries is a thoroughly honest demonstration of our will to see our Ukrainian brothers and sisters through to peace and success.

By Almighty God and with honor,
geo sends

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George Hand

Master Sergeant US Army (ret) from the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, The Delta Force. In service, he maintained a high level of proficiency in 6 foreign languages. Post military, George worked as a subcontracter for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the nuclear test site north of Las Vegas Nevada for 16 years. Currently, George works as an Intelligence Analyst and street operative in the fight against human trafficking. A master cabinet-grade woodworker and master photographer, George is a man of diverse interests and broad talents.