United States Army Is Bringing Back A Big Gun For Ukraine

[mark6mauno, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Army is bringing back an old standby and restarting production of the M777 howitzer because of its deployment by Ukraine. The last time somebody ordered the weapon was five years ago, but in Ukraine, as they defend against Russian invasion, the gun is one of the more popular choices. 

According to reports, Ukrainian artillerymen say the M777 is easier to fire and repair than other Western howitzer varieties deployed across their country. The gun’s accuracy and lightweight parts make it simple to transport across the increasingly muddy terrain.

The Wall Street Journal writes

For now, the effort is focused on producing new parts to refurbish old guns in Ukraine. But it shows how the nearly two-year Ukraine war is taking a toll on Kyiv’s Western-donated equipment, some of which is no longer produced. That leads to future problems in acquiring spare parts needed to keep guns operational.

British defense company BAE Systems said Thursday that it will restart production of M777 parts for the U.S. Army. 

The newly manufactured parts will be used to refurbish M777s deployed in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the matter. BAE said that with M777 production running again it expects contracts for whole guns. More than eight countries have made inquiries about buying the M777 since the start of the Ukraine war, the company said.

While Western militaries sent Kyiv more nimble self-propelled howitzers, the M777, which has to be towed into position, won favor for being less prone to breakdowns and easy to use and repair. 

The M777 howitzer has seen operational use in various conflicts, including notable deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Its versatility and portability have made it a valuable asset in supporting ground forces, providing precise and effective indirect fire against enemy targets. The M777’s ability to be rapidly deployed by air transport has been particularly advantageous in dynamic and fast-paced military environments. Its service in these theaters of operation has showcased the howitzer’s adaptability and effectiveness in diverse combat scenarios, solidifying its reputation as a reliable and versatile artillery system.

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