The General Staff of Ukraine is aware of the supply of Western weapons systems.
I am pleased to announce that the Polish self-propelled artillery units AHS Krab are ready to carry out combat missions on the front.
After the M777 and FH70 howitzers, the CAESAR self-propelled howitzers and the M109A3, these units are the type 5 155 mm artillery we managed to get.
The war has become the assassination of World War I-style artillery, and Russia has enormous advantages in the field of weapons and ammunition. With the end of Soviet-made ammunition, Ukraine and its partners have worked feverishly to move to NATO standard weapons. .
With 18 new Polish crabs, Ukraine now has more than 150,155 mm cannons, and another 60 crabs will be delivered hot off the factory line in the coming months. Meanwhile, the new American M777 was photographed loaded on transport planes bound for Ukraine, so the total number will soon exceed 200.
We do not know exactly how much artillery Russia has in Ukraine. I just spent an hour researching different types of Russian units and their artillery components, doing the dirty math, and finally deleting the whole paragraph. The reality is that Russia has a lot. And while Ukraine claims it destroyed 1,393 tanks and 3,429 infantry armaments, the number of artillery systems being much smaller – 213 MLRS machines and 703 artillery cannons. Before the invasion, Russia claimed to have 6,000 artillery weapons in its army, and although we now know that these figures are greatly exaggerated (due to difficulties and incompetence), Russia may have several thousand artillery and MLRS units in Ukraine.
(Ukraine, on the other hand, demanded 1,960 artillery units before the invasion, as well as 2,000 tanks and 2,870 armored vehicles).
Back to the General Staff of Ukraine:
To date, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces with 150,155 mm artillery platforms. Ammunition stockpiles of this caliber are already 10% larger than the stockpiles of Soviet-type large-caliber ammunition that existed before 24 February 2022. In addition, these new charges are more efficient than their Soviet equivalents and therefore consume less.
This is incredible information: Ukraine now has 10% more 155 mm artillery shells than its entire stockpile on the day Russia invaded. And given the increased accuracy of Western systems, they don’t need to be used so much to perform a specific task. Their burning rate is slower. The donor countries are Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
At the same time, more than 50 other large-caliber cannons were delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces. This includes their charges, which account for more than 75% of what existed at the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.
These are artillery systems larger than 155 mm. In Ukraine, there is a Soviet-era 203 mm Pion self-propelled gun, and before the war they were 99, but no one has announced the deployment of several. According to Wikipedia, Czechoslovakia had 12, Poland had 8 and Slovakia had 3. Assuming they were somewhere in deep storage, it still doesn’t reach 50. NATO is nothing bigger. So there is no idea what they are talking about, but the joy that they got it no matter what it is!
Dozens of Soviet-type MLRS units and tens of thousands of projectiles, hundreds of mortars and hundreds of thousands of projectiles have strengthened our defense capabilities during this period.
NATO countries have emptied their coffers from all Soviet-era MLRS systems from the former Warsaw Pact, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic (20+) and Poland (20+).
The Ministry of Defense is competing with the Russian army for leadership in the supply of tanks and other Soviet-style armored vehicles. We are talking about hundreds of units.
It is unbelievable. Poland has sent 230 T-72 tanks and the Czech Republic another 40. These, as well as the tanks that Ukraine seized and returned to service from Russia itself, have granted them parity against the invaders. Heck, Ukraine could even be more tanks at this point.
We received about 250 Western armored vehicles (M113TM, M113 YPR-765, Bushmaster, Mastiff, Husky, Wolfhound, etc.) from our partners. This line of work continues.
In addition to new unannounced shipments of M777, the United States is sending more M113 in excess of the first 200 in a boat that will hopefully arrive in Ukraine soon (if not already). Given that there are 5,000 M113 in the United States, almost all of them retired, their supply should be essentially unlimited.
It should be noted, for example, that the Ministry of Defense has fulfilled the initial request of the armed forces for 155 mm of artillery units by 90%.
To all the people who are shouting that the Western Allies are abstaining, this confirms that, in fact, Ukraine has received most of what it has asked for, and that artillery systems continue to flow. This does not mean that Ukraine cannot and will not ask for more, but Ukraine’s allies in this category are responsive.
An important statement has recently been made: our American and British partners have decided to provide Ukraine with MLRS units. It should be noted that our soldiers have been learning to work with these weapons for some time.
Ukraine has received only part of the units it has requested. Four HIMARS launchers come from the United States, while the United Kingdom releases an equally small number of M270 MLRS launchers. Germany promised about half a dozen more, then issued a justification for “software updates” to delay delivery by. winter.
As I have already written, the small number of HIMARS is probably a starting point, given the insanely complex logistical requirements of NATO’s MLRS system. There will be more, but the problem is not the delivery of launchers to Ukraine, but the delivery of ammunition blocks to these launchers. Its logistics will be developed over time, but so be it dara takes time.
I had a lot of discussions with my foreign colleagues to start early training for teams with different types of weapons that have not yet made political decisions on how to supply them. Training with some of these weapons began in March. More than 1,500 of our soldiers are currently undergoing or about to begin training.
This is an exciting lesson: Ukraine has been training systems since March that have not yet been approved for delivery. Presumably we are talking about things like German Leopard tanks, the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system and, if we can dream it, F-16, A-10 or even attack helicopters.
They summarize most of their most urgent needs:
• Obtain a significant number of NATO-type MLRS units with ammunition;
• to ensure the complete replacement of certain existing Soviet-type caliber (obsolete weapons, unarmed or missing ammunition) with platforms distributed in NATO countries and equipped with ammunition;
Yes, MLRS and more MLRS and then some additional MLRS. Again, delivering ammunition is the real challenge here.
• Agree with partners on the transition from separate platform deliveries to integrated organic units ready for battle. This will greatly increase the efficiency of the battlefield;
• ensure the supply of hundreds of heavy armor equipment, without which it is not possible to carry out an effective counterattack. It must be taken into account that the Soviet equipment is mostly outdated and must be prepared for battle. In the meantime, we only receive light armor from our partners, not necessarily with weapons;
M113 is a light weapon without weapons. These are armored personnel carriers, not infantry fighting vehicles. Ukraine needs more of the latter. I still do not understand why we are not giving them our M2 Bradley, which replaced the M113 in our armed forces before they themselves are phased out. (M113 is two generations old.) We have thousands of them, and the only thing I can think of is the logistics / maintenance problems. Six countries send M113 to Ukraine (Australia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the USA), which simplifies delivery and maintenance requirements. But Ukraine needs cannon infantry, and Europeans have nothing as large as our Bradley.
• Obtain fighter jets, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems to protect our skies.
I have just written about the difficulties involved in switching to NATO equipment, and this applies 100x to aircraft and air defense systems. These are the systems that take for years for the maintenance team to learn and master. Even if they started training on these systems in March, it will take some time before they can be deployed. Maybe that’s why this is the last item on their wish list – they know it will happen the least soon.
Nonetheless, this is a great, realistic summary of the state of Ukraine’s arms supply and future needs. Yes, Ukraine has serious needs, but the Western Allies have stepped up to fill the gaps and much remains to be done.