First pictures were released on the Facebook account of the “Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” showing the use by Ukrainian soldiers of FH70 155mm towed howitzer and its tractor truck IVECO Astra SM 66.40 Prime Mover donated by Italy in the framework of military aid to Ukraine after the invasion of the country by the Russian army.
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Ukrainian soldiers operate FH70 155mm towed howitzers donated by Italy. (Picture source Facebook account Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)
On May 15, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Italy would deliver to Ukraine an undisclosed number of FH70 155 towed howitzers coming from the Italian army inventory. According to the military balance 2021, the Italian armed forces have a total of 188 towed howitzers but only 90 of the FH70 would be in service with the Italian army.
Artillery is a key element for the Ukrainian armed forces to counter the Russian armed forces and to support the Ukrainian soldiers during counter-offensives. In the Russian armed forces, the artillery is one of the major elements to conduct combat operations and target enemy positions.
For the Ukrainian army, artillery is also used to conduct counter-battery missions. The Ukrainian armed forces have a wide range of Soviet-made artillery systems such as 2S19, 2S5, 2S1, and 2S3 self-propelled howitzers as well as rocket launchers BM-21 and BM-30 MLRSs.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has requested the international community to provide modern air defense and artillery weapons. In fact, U.S. and European artillery weapon systems are more modern, offering better accuracy and greater shooting range.
In terms of towed howitzers, the Ukrainian army has Soviet-made D-30, D-20, 2A65 Msta-B, and 2A36 Giatsint-B which have a maximum firing range of up to 28 km. The FH70 is able to fire all the standard 155mm NATO ammunition and can fire at a maximum range of 30 km using extended-range shells.
The FH70 howitzer is normally towed by a 5 tons military truck that also carries the crew and ammunition. It is also equipped with an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) allowing the FH-70 to move on its own and enabling a shoot-and-scoot ability.
The FH70 is a towed howitzer that is able to fire at a maximum range of 30 km. (Picture source Facebook account Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)
The FH70 is towed by the Italian truck IVECO Astra SM 66.40 Prime Move. (Picture source Facebook account Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)