A battery of multiple launch rocket systems near Slavyansk and a platoon of multiple rocket launchers in the area of Nikolayevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic were also destroyed in counter-battery fire
Russian forces wiped out a platoon of US M777 howitzers in the Kharkov Region in their special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Thursday.
"The following targets were destroyed in counter-battery fire: a battery of multiple launch rocket systems near Slavyansk, a platoon of multiple rocket launchers in the area of Nikolayevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, and also an artillery platoon of US-made M777 howitzers at firing positions in the settlement of Pervomaisky in the Kharkov Region," the spokesman said.
Also, the Russian Aerospace Forces struck the deployment site of a battalion of the Ukrainian army’s 14th brigade with foreign mercenaries, eliminating 43 and wounding about 170 militants, Konashenkov reported.
"In the area of the settlement of Chasov Yar in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Russia’s precision weapons hit the temporary deployment site of a battalion of the 14th mechanized brigade manned with nationalists and foreign mercenaries. The strike eliminated 43 and wounded about 170 militants," the spokesman said.
Also, in the area of the settlement of Malaya Tokmachka in the Zaporozhye Region, Russian army aviation aircraft delivered a strike by precision missiles against the temporary deployment site of the 97th battalion of the Ukrainian army’s 60th mechanized brigade, the general added.
"The strike eliminated 30 and wounded another 37 nationalists," Konashenkov said.
"Overall, the following targets have been destroyed since the beginning of the special military operation: 249 aircraft, 137 helicopters, 1,534 unmanned aerial vehicles, 354 surface-to-air missile systems, 4,050 tanks and other combat armoured vehicles, 744 multiple rocket launchers, 3,145 field artillery guns and mortars and 4,292 special military motor vehicles," the spokesman reported.
US M777 howitzers
The M777 is a 155mm towed howitzer developed by the UK-based defence firm, BAE Systems, which replaced the US Army’s heavier M198 artillery guns. The M777 can fire conventional shells at a distance of about 25 km and special munitions at a range of 40 km.
The howitzer features a high-precision digital fire control system (Towed Artillery Digitization) that uses GPS and drone data for directing the weapon at the target. The gun’s upgraded A2 version can fire M982 Excalibur-guided shells with an extended flight range.
The M777 howitzer is used by the ground forces of the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. The howitzer was first employed in combat during the war in Afghanistan.
The US, Canadian and Australian militaries earlier reported the delivery of M777 howitzers and ammunition to Ukraine.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported for the first time on May 18 that Russian strike drones had wiped out US-made M777 howitzers employed by the Ukrainian military near the settlement of Podgornoye.
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