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Australia approves the sending of six M777 155mm towed howitzers to Ukraine.

| 2022

On April 28, 2022, the government of Australia approves the sending of six M777 155mm lightweight towed howitzers as well as 155mm ammunition to Ukraine. The Australian government announced that it would continue to offer military aid to Ukraine's armed forces.
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Gunners of the 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery and the United States Marine Corps’ Golf Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, fire an Australian M777 Howitzer as part of a mixed crew, at Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. (Picture source Australia DoD)

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Australia has already delivered 20 Bushmaster 4x4 armored vehicles in APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) and ambulance versions, protected weapons systems, anti-tank weapons and ammunition, military equipment, combat rations, and medical furniture.

Regarding the M777, Army Recognition reported on April 23, 2022, that Canada has delivered an undisclosed number of M777 towed howitzers and associated ammunition to the armed forces of Ukraine. Last week, the United States also announced the delivery of 90 155 towed howitzers but did not disclose the type of howitzer that will be delivered to Ukraine.

According to the military balance 2021, the Australian army has a total of 54 M777A2. Ukraine will therefore benefit from the latest generation of the M777 capable of firing GPS-guided munitions. In July 2008, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the U.S. Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of M777A2 155MM Light-Weight Howitzers as well as associated equipment and services.

The M777A2 is the latest generation of towed howitzer in the M777 family which is manufactured by the company BAE Systems. The towed howitzer is used to provide direct, reinforcing, and general artillery fire support to maneuver forces. The extensive use of titanium in all of its major structures makes the M777 one of the lighter 155mm towed howitzer in the world.

The M777A2 variant is equipped with a Digital Fire Control System (DFCS) that includes an inertial navigation unit with Global Positioning System backup, allowing it to self-locate. The DFCS also includes a mission computer, displays, and digital communications. Software upgrades to the system have incorporated the Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuze Setter (EPIAFS), giving the M777A2 the capability to program and fire the 155 mm Excalibur and Precision Guidance Kit precision munitions.

The M777A2 lightweight 155mmm towed howitzer can fire the full ranges of U.S. 155mm ammunition including unassisted projectiles to a range of 24 km and assisted projectiles to 30 km. Thanks, to its new fire controls system, it can also fire Excalibur Precision 155 mm Projectiles, Global Positioning System (GPS)-guided, extended-range artillery projectile M982 and M982A1 at a maximum range of 40 km.

Defense News April 2022

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