Ukraine has been locked in a bitter conflict with Russia for exactly one year today. To gain a strategic advantage against its adversary, Ukraine has received several shipments of modern heavy Western weapons from NATO member states.
However, this is far from enough for the Ukrainian forces to gain a decisive victory over the Russian military. To that end, Western countries need to urgently intensify their supply of weapons to Ukraine so that they can have a better chance of success in this war.
NATO member states have recently provided Ukraine with modern heavy Western weapons, including HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, PzH 2000 howitzers, Zuzana and Krab self-propelled artillery, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. These weapons have effectively hit military targets as far as 50 km away and have even hit gas extraction platforms in the Black Sea and Russian troops on Snake Island.
However, despite their effectiveness, the number of these weapons currently supplied by NATO is far too small for Ukraine to gain a strategic advantage over Russia. So far, Ukraine has only received 12 PzH 2000 self-propelled guns, 8 Zuzana self-propelled guns, and 4 HIMARS systems—which is not nearly enough to gain a decisive victory over the much larger Russian forces.
The Necessary Weapons for Success
For the Ukrainian forces to stand a better chance against Russia’s aggression, they will need significantly more weapons than they currently possess. This includes 1000 howitzers caliber 155 mm; 300 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS); 500 tanks; 2000 armored vehicles; 1000 drones; two dozen modern fighter jets; two NASAMS anti-aircraft missile systems—all of which are necessary if they are going to be successful in this conflict. Without these weapons being supplied by NATO countries soon, it is unlikely that Ukrainian forces will be able to hold off Russian aggression any longer.
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS as it is more commonly known, is a highly potent weapon that can provide Ukrainian forces with a clear military advantage against Russian aggression. The HIMARS system consists of a truck-mounted launcher carrying up to six MLRS rockets. The launcher can fire various munitions and is the most cost-effective and efficient way to deliver considerable firepower to the target area.
In terms of military strategy, the HIMARS system can be used by Ukrainian forces in various ways. For instance, it can launch suppressive fire on enemy concentrations or positions, allowing other Ukrainian forces to maneuver without coming under heavy fire. Additionally, it could be used as an offensive weapon to attack Russian supply lines and depots, slowing their advance and cutting off their supplies. This could give Ukrainian forces time to deploy reinforcements or take another course of action against the advancing Russians.
“Had they been here much earlier, I think we would’ve already been done with the war,” a Ukrainian soldier noted.
In other words, using HIMARS allows Ukrainian forces to strike at Russian targets more accurately while minimizing civilian casualties and ensuring that vital infrastructure remains intact even after bombardment or airstrikes.
Overall, it is clear that utilizing the HIMARS system would provide Ukrainian forces with a significant advantage against Russian aggression. In addition, it offers an opportunity for accurate and deadly suppressive fire and strikes against enemy positions and provides a way to reduce collateral damage when engaging enemy targets.
The M777 howitzer is a 155mm lightweight towed artillery piece that has been in service since 2005. It is the product of a collaboration between Canada, the United States, and BAE Systems. In the Ukraine conflict, the M777 can be used to provide direct support to ground forces by providing accurate fire support up to 30 km away. This range can be extended further with special rounds such as rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP) or base bleed rounds. Using its onboard digital fire control system and GPS navigation capabilities, the M777 can also be employed for counter-battery fire against enemy artillery pieces.
Ukrainian HIMARS and M777 decoys in the east pic.twitter.com/Db2wPQ3jih
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) February 22, 2023
The advantages that the M777 brings are many, including its light weight (about 4100 kg), which allows for fast deployment on rough terrain as compared to other 155mm howitzers; relative ease of operation due to an automated shell loading system; it is much quieter than comparable howitzers when firing; it has electronic ballistics computation; and most importantly, its accuracy due to its digital fire control system.
The potential strategic benefits of employing the M777 in Ukraine are multifarious. For instance, it can enable Ukrainian forces to gain a higher degree of precision in bombarding enemy targets while reducing collateral damage and civilian casualties near tight lines. It also provides an opportunity for better forward positioning of artillery assets closer to enemy lines before shelling begins. Moreover, its long-range capabilities and quietness when firing compared to other howitzers may give Ukrainian forces a strategic edge by allowing them more time before being detected by enemy forces and engaging in counter-battery fire. Therefore, this technologically advanced heavy weaponry could be essential in helping Ukrainian forces win the war against Russia’s aggression.
The first and most important factor in the Ukrainian effort against Russian forces is the need for heavy weaponry to support their forces. One of the most effective options for Ukraine is the Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH, 2000), a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer that has been in service with several NATO countries since the late 1990s. The PzH 2000 features an automated system for loading and aiming, a range of up to 30 kilometers, and armor plating to protect it from small arms fire. It also has a high rate of fire, able to discharge ten rounds per minute, making it ideal for suppressing enemy fire rapidly and accurately.
The presence of PzH 2000s could prove invaluable on the battlefield in Ukraine. The ability to lay down suppressive fire over large areas at long range would give Ukrainian forces a great advantage when fighting against Russian forces. This would allow them to focus on advancing into strategic positions while keeping enemy units away with sustained artillery fire. In addition, having access to these powerful Modern Self Propelled Artillery gunsets would allow them to engage targets quickly and accurately at long distances with much less exposure than traditional methods such as towed pieces or mortars.
By providing Ukrainian forces with modern heavy weaponry such as PzH 2000s, they will be better equipped to counter Russian aggression and hold off their enemies until reinforcements arrive from other NATO counties. Defense industry analyst Nicholas Drummond also noted how Ukrainians are quite fond of this German-made masterpiece.
The German PzH 2000 in Ukraine. Users don't seem unhappy with this artillery piece. https://t.co/lH8WIxamZy
— Nicholas Drummond (@nicholadrummond) August 9, 2022
Indeed this Heavy Weapon System has proved it is worth time and time again on modern battlefields across Europe, showing its value tactically and strategically. Moreover, equipping Ukrainian troops with these robust systems – thanks mainly to other NATO members’ support – will be better situated when facing off against Russian forces in the coming days.
Zuzana and Krab self-propelled artillery:
The Zuzana and Krab Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA) systems have the potential to be game changers in the ongoing conflict with Russia. With significant range, accuracy, and mobility, SPA systems are essential for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. The Zuzana can provide heavy direct fire support out to distances of up to 19 km, while the Krab can reach targets up to 40km away. The ability to fire accurately at such distances is one of the critical advantages for Ukraine in this conflict; it allows them to target areas that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach without putting troops at risk.
In addition to their range and accuracy, the Zuzana and Krab SPA systems boast high levels of protection from return fire due to their advanced armor, which can withstand small arms fire and artillery fragments. Furthermore, these vehicles are highly mobile, allowing them to rapidly move away from danger after firing upon enemy positions; this makes them challenging targets for counter-battery fire. In addition, their rapid rate of fire allows them to lay down a large volume of rounds quickly and efficiently—a factor that could prove pivotal if Ukraine is ever forced into a full-scale confrontation with Russia’s forces.
Military experts agree that heavy artillery such as the Zuzana and Krab Self-Propelled Artillery systems will give Ukraine an invaluable edge in this conflict; however, acquiring these weapons will not be easy given the current diplomatic climate between Ukraine and NATO countries. Nevertheless, western governments must recognize that supplying such weaponry could prove vital in enabling Ukrainian forces to survive and prevail against Russian aggression. Without modernizing its military equipment soon, Ukraine may find itself at an overall disadvantage on the battlefield despite its valiant efforts thus far against overwhelming odds.
Harpoon anti-ship missiles:
Harpoon anti-ship missiles in the Ukrainian military arsenal could be pivotal in the war with Russia. Many military analysts have lauded this advanced weaponry for its superior range and accuracy, as the missile can travel up to 125 nautical miles and can locate targets from over the horizon. Adding this particular type of missile to Ukraine’s inventory would significantly enhance its ability to defend against potential Russian assault, both on land and at sea. The US DoD also acknowledges the impact of these harpoons on Ukraine’s naval defense.
“In fact, the way we view this development is that the Ukrainians were very successful at applying significant pressure on the Russians, including by using those harpoon missiles that they recently acquired to attack a resupply ship, and when you realize how barren and deserted Snake Island is, you understand the importance of resupply,” the defense official said. “So the Ukrainians made it very hard for the Russians to sustain their operations there, made them very vulnerable to Ukrainian strike.”
From a military strategy perspective, Harpoon missiles offer numerous advantages for Ukraine. They are far more challenging to detect than surface-to-surface weaponry due to their low radar cross-section and infrared signature. Additionally, they require no pre-targeting or updating before launch, meaning they can be deployed quickly and effectively – even if the target is moving quickly. This makes them ideal for use against small, fast-moving targets such as patrol boats and smaller warships. Furthermore, it should be noted that these missiles are equipped with advanced guidance systems that ensure accuracy at all ranges – further increasing their effectiveness in a naval engagement setting.
Given the current state of affairs between Ukraine and Russia, it is clear that advanced weaponry, such as Harpoon missiles, could significantly contribute to helping Ukrainian forces achieve victory in this conflict. With its superior range and accuracy compared to other surface-to-surface weapons and its ability to counter fast-moving targets, the addition of these particular missiles would undoubtedly give Ukrainian forces greater confidence in their capability to defend themselves against Russian aggression. Moreover, this weaponry could open new avenues for offensive operations – providing Ukrainian forces with much-needed leverage on the battlefield.
If Ukraine wants to succeed in its fight against Russia’s aggression, it must receive more military support from NATO nations as soon as possible. Ukraine will finally be able to give themselves a fighting chance against their adversary in this brutal war that has gone on for too long already. It is time for Western countries to step up and provide the necessary military support needed so that peace may finally come back once again between these two countries.