Russian army missing long-range artillery capabilities facing Ukrainian HIMARS
- Ukraine - Russia conflict war 2022
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MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS-DEFENSE/. Russian troops continue using precision-guided weapons against military facilities of the Ukrainian army. However, Russian precision-guided weapons are no longer capable of changing the course of the special military operation in Ukraine. Long-range artillery and air defense missile systems, satellite reconnaissance data should be used more actively, military expert Oleg Falichev writes in the Independent Military Review.
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The Ukrainian army uses US-delivered M142 HIMARS with high efficiency in long-range artillery strikes (Picture source: Ukrinform)
“Now the tactical pause is ending on the front lines”, Falichev says. According to him, the pause in operations began two weeks ago and was necessary to redeploy reserves, weapons and ammunition to the tactical theater and reman battalion task forces and military units. Also, it was necessary to carry out military personnel rotation.
According to the expert, the inspection of the Russian troops involved in the special military operation in Ukraine by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in mid-July also testifies to a pause in operations. During the visit, he heard reports delivered by the army group commanders, instructed them to prevent missile and artillery strikes by the Ukrainian army and to enhance the effectiveness of the destruction of Ukrainian drones.
“In the Donetsk area, Russian troops have almost reached the Kramatorsk-Slavyansk line,” the expert says. According to Falichev, there will be heavy fighting for Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, “especially considering that Slavyansk is located on a hill, and it will be extremely difficult to make a frontal attack.” This will require thinking through ways to bypass and maneuver. Falichev supposes that this issue was also on the agenda during a meeting between Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov.
As Falichev says, the American Institute for the Study of War, which has been monitoring the current situation in Ukraine, has also announced the end of the operational pause. (…) According to him, (…), it is necessary to increase the number of drones on the contact line and more actively use the military satellite constellation.
“Another problem is that the defense line of the Ukrainian troops between Seversk and Soledar has a chain of powerful fortifications,” Falichev notes.
Most of the artillery systems operational with the Russian army, such as 152mm D-20 towed howitzers, 122mm D-30 howitzers, Akatsiya and Gvozdika self-propelled systems, have a range of 15-17 km. This range does not allow hitting the enemy’s deep targets, the expert notes. The firing positions of M777A2 howitzers, CAESAR, PzH-2000, Archer and Krab systems of the Ukrainian army are deployed at a distance of 27-37 km from our positions. Long-range artillery systems, such as Giatsint-B howitzers and 2S3 Pion self-propelled guns, are being used sporadically.
According to Falichev, US-made HIMARS long-range multiple launch rocket systems cause quite a lot of problems for the Russian troops. “Depending on the projectiles, HIMARS can deliver fire even to a distance of up to 300 km”, the expert notes (Note of Army Recognition: the U.S. refuses to deliver such long-range missiles, only 70-km range rockets). On July 27, a HIMARS MLRS attack partially destroyed the Antonovsky bridge near Kherson. According to Falichev, this strike was directed with the use of the US satellite constellation.
Since HIMARS systems are extremely dangerous, they are being actively destroyed. According to the Defense Ministry, from July 5 to 20, out of US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems transferred to Ukraine, four launchers and one transloader were eliminated by ground-based and air-launched precision weapons. Two launchers were eliminated near Malotaranovka (note from Army Recognition: this is disputed by the Pentagon), one more HIMARS and a transloader were wiped out near Krasnoarmeysk, and the fourth launcher — on the eastern outskirts of the DPR’s (Donetsk People’s Republic) Konstantinovka.
According to the expert, after the attack on the Antonovsky bridge, an S-400 Triumph air defense missile system was urgently redeployed from Crimea to ensure security of the bridge. In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry announced its readiness to deploy pontoon crossings. Falichev believes that the 12 new HIMARS systems recently handed over to Ukraine by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will not change the course of the operation.
Thus, according to Falichev, the solution to the current problems of the special military operation lies “in the mobility of air defense missile systems, their sufficient number and, as already noted, timely reconnaissance data.” At the same time, this data should be obtained from both aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles and the Russian military satellite constellation.