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Russian forces wipe out 150 troops, two US M777 howitzers in Ukraine operation — top brass

It is reported that the howitzer was first employed in combat during the war in Afghanistan

MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. Russian forces delivered strikes by precision-guided weapons to eliminate about 150 Ukrainian militants, two US M777 howitzers and 1,500 ammunition rounds in the Zaporozhye Region in their special operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Friday.

"The Russian Aerospace Forces delivered strikes by air-launched precision missiles against the temporary deployment sites of two howitzer artillery battalions of the Ukrainian army’s 44th artillery brigade and missile/artillery arms depots in the area of the settlement of Novoivanovka in the Zaporozhye Region," the spokesman said.

The strikes wiped out American M777 howitzers and shells for Grad multiple launch rocket systems, the general said.

"The strikes eliminated up to 150 troops, two American M777 howitzers and about 1,500 ammunition rounds for them, six Msta-B howitzers, eight artillery guns of various modifications, about 350 Grad rockets and seven unmanned aerial vehicles," Konashenkov reported.

The M777 is a 155mm towed howitzer developed by the UK-based defense 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.