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Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukrainian minister of defense, called the cooperation between Ukraine and its Western partners on the military supplies “unprecedented.”
According to Reznikov, Ukraine’s Armed Forces already operate three types of 155-mm artillery: M777, FH70 howitzers, and French Caesar howitzers. “Only in March, we could never have even dreamed about this,” the minister of defense said .
The national army now has U.S. M190 self-propelled howitzers, adjusted to the particular needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, to add to that lineup.
Previously, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said some of the U.S. weapons supplied to Ukraine were specially designated for Ukraine’s defensive needs in the Donbas.
“This is a very high-quality equipment and supplying it became real as a result of cooperation between several countries,” Reznikov said, commenting on the arrival of the M190 howitzers in Ukraine.
They are likely M190A7s – a modern version of older U.S. howitzer known as Paladin. Those were originally designated for U.S. operations in Vietnam, a country with a complicated landscape and geography. Overall, several versions of the M190 were used in as many as 12 military campaigns, including Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
The M190A7 – the newest version of Paladin – is based on an electric drive which makes it highly mobile. Its main cannon has a caliber of 155 mm, but this mobile howitzer also operates three machine guns of various calibers, and a grenade launcher.
If needed, these newest iterations of Paladin can be upgraded to include extended range artillery.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, a journalist, confirmed that Ukraine’s Armed Forces had received M190 howitzers.
Recently, Ukrainian army also received more than 100 U.S. drones of various types, including the most innovative one – the Phoenix Ghost. These are perfectly suited to the terrain of the Donbas. Ukraine also has Switchblade drones for own defensive use.
“In the information space we see more and more comments from our soldiers who are practiced in using foreign weapons in real combat,” Reznikov said. “I’m glad that most of these comments are positive. Thanks to our soldiers, the Russian invaders are getting a response that they hadn’t expected.”
He also said Ukraine’s Coast Guard will be using Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which coast guard servicemen have already learned how to operate. “I’m sure the use of Harpoons and our Neptuns (anti-ship missiles) will help us liberate the Black Sea, making it safe again,” said Reznikov.
“Of course, defending Odesa is also a priority.”
According to him, supplies of Harpoon missiles came as a result of multinational cooperation that allowed Ukraine to receive those weapons from Denmark. The UK also contributed to this deal.
Reznikov praised the leadership role of Ben Wallace, the UK defense minister, in making this supply line possible.
“As any defense minister if they were in my position, I would like to have more weapons, and I wish we had had all of them the day before yesterday,” said Reznikov.
“That’s because it’s a matter of life and death of our people. At the same time, we should realize: during past one-and-a-half months, for instance, we’ve received more NATO-standard rockets for our artillery that have a much lengthier operational range than the Soviet-standard rockets.
“The main thing is that we’ve already received more rockets than all the countries that are still able to produce Soviet-style rockets would be able to manufacture in six months. And we’ll have more. The amount of artillery at our disposal will be increasing.”
Ukraine’s minister of defense said that, while waiting for new military supplies, the government in pushing for larger supplies, and more diversified supplies.
“We will report on this publicly soon,” Reznikov said.