US troops to train Ukrainian soldiers how to operate American 155mm towed howitzer
Following the press briefing of the Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby published on April 18, 2022, and after the announcement by the United States of the delivery of 155mm towed howitzers to Ukraine, U.S. troops will train Ukrainian soldiers on how to operate this artillery weapon.
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United States could deliver M198 or M777 155 towed howitzers to Ukrainian armed forces. U.S. Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery, 3rd Striker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, fire rounds to calibrate an M777 Howitzer at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Diyala province, Iraq, Dec. 8, 2009. (Picture source U.S. DoD)
On April 13, 2022, the United States announced the delivery of new military equipment to Ukraine including 18 155mm towed howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds.
The training of the Ukrainian soldiers will be conducted by U.S. soldiers outside of Ukraine. Citing information from Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, published on April 18, 2022, It is true that we believe we'll be able to begin a process of training the Ukrainian armed forces on the howitzers that we'll be shortly heading over. That training will occur outside of Ukraine. It'll be more of a train the trainer's kind of environment. So, it'll be a small number of Ukrainians that will be trained on the howitzers. And then they will be reintroduced back into their country to train their colleagues.
Currently, the Ukrainian army only uses Soviet-made artillery weapons including towed and self-propelled howitzers. They don't use American howitzers in artillery. Citing the United States military specialists, Ukraine soldiers understand how to use artillery and it won't take a long time or require much detailed training to get them up to speed on American howitzers. An American artillery piece is not unlike other artillery pieces. The basic outlines of the system are the same.
United States has not yet officially mentioned which types of towed howitzer will be delivered to Ukraine which can be the M198 or the new M777.
The M198 is a medium-sized, towed 155 mm artillery howitzer that entered into service with the United States Army and Marine Corps in 1979. It weighs less than 7,300 kg, allowing it to be dropped by parachute or transported by a CH-53E Super Stallion or CH-47 Chinook.
The M198 howitzer can be towed by a military truck as the M939 truck at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h or 8 km/h in off-road conditions. The howitzer is operated by a team of 11 soldiers. It has an effective firing range of 22 km with a standard projectile and 30 km with a rocket-assisted projectile.
The M777 is the latest generation of towed howitzer in service with the U.S. Army and entered into service with the United armed forces in 2005. It has a weight of 4,200 kg, 41% lighter than the 7,154 kg of the M198 howitzer.
The M777 has an effective firing range of 24 km with standard ammunition and 30 km with ERFB (Extended Range Full Bore) ammunition. The latest variant of the M777, the M777A2 version can fire the M982 Excalibur GPS-guided munitions, which allows accurate fire at a range of up to 40 km.