The Australian defense ministry has sent six 155mm lightweight howitzers and associated ammunition to Ukraine in support of its defense against the Russian invasion.
The M777 howitzers, which entered Australian Army service in 2010, were loaded onto a C-17A Globemaster III aircraft at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland on April 26 for their delivery to Ukraine.
Australia is sending the howitzers to Ukraine after previously providing 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, including 14 protected weapons systems, anti-armor weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Other military equipment, combat rations, medical supplies, and financial contributions to NATO’s trust fund for the Ukraine are also part of Australia’s assistance for Ukraine, which is now worth A$225 million.
“The Australian government will continue to identify opportunities for further military assistance where it is able to provide a required capability to the Ukraine Armed Forces expeditiously,” Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said.
“The Australian government reiterates our strongest support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine.
“Australia stands with the people of Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
In Australian Army service, the M777 replaces the L119 105mm light gun and the M198 155mm medium gun in Royal Australian Artillery units. It has a sustained rate of fire of 2 rounds per minute or 5 rounds per minute at a rapid rate of fire. Depending on the type of round used, the howitzer has a range of between 24 and 30 kilometers, with improved rounds such as the M1156 Precision Guidance Kit.