Will American precision-guided ammunition enable Ukraine to defeat Russia in the Donbass?

The United States provided the first delivery of laser-guided artillery shells to Kiev’s military in an effort to demonstrate its steadfast support for Ukraine.

It appears that Washington responded more enthusiastically than other nations to all the requests that Ukrainian President Zelensky made to the West. Despite the price of the artillery, Washington considers Excalibur guided artillery shells to be a viable alternative for the Ukrainian military when they move to employing Western shells to replace Soviet-era artillery shells and ammo. It costs around 100,000 USD per piece, which is a lot. They can aid Ukraine in lessening Russia’s tactical fire superiority.

The aforementioned information was confirmed by a US Department of Defense official, who added: “The most important thing is that we are getting ready for the deployment of Excalibur. We are conducting training in Ukraine, Germany, and the UK and we train everything from maintenance courses to training in using artillery systems and high mobility missile systems (HIMARS).

Excalibur is a smart bullet that can launch attacks using GPS coordinates provided by surveillance UAVs. With a 155mm diameter, this shell can penetrate enemy defenses, including those that are tucked away in trenches, wooded areas, or alleyways.

Excalibur gives attacking ground forces a crucial tactical and strategic advantage. Soldiers had to spend time matching coordinates with unguided shells in order to strike the objective, and they occasionally had to endure a few erroneous rounds.

They can, however, accurately hit even small targets when utilizing smart guided shells without making any changes. Lasers may occasionally be seen shining briefly before a shell bursts in some videos of battle in Ukraine.

Shawn Ball, Raytheon’s Excalibur Business Development Manager, said, “We took a typical 155mm cannon and used a conventional warhead. This warhead explodes into countless fragments when it is discharged. However, if we swap it out for the Excalibur smart shell, it can pierce armored vehicles with a hot spark instead.

Excalibur can fly up to 50 kilometers, further than any artillery projectile, including the 2K25 Krasnopol M from Russia (40km). It can fly vertically and has a 92 percent hit rate within 4 meters. The bullet will drop its tail as soon as it leaves the barrel, and the GPS system will then start directing the warhead to the intended target.

Ukraine has recently received numerous new types of artillery from the US and its allies, including 126 M777 cannons that fire 155mm rounds. Excalibur ammo is perfect for this cannon. According to military experts, the new firing system along with precision-guided artillery can help Ukraine minimize its artillery disadvantage against the Russian army in eastern Ukraine by a factor of 1 to 10. However, they don’t always strike the mark, according to Western evaluations of the Russian military’s arsenal of precision-guided artillery projectiles. The vast quantity of shells that Russia had on the battlefield contributed significantly to their advantage, and occasionally they used this firepower to make up for mistakes.

The Ukrainian military also has at least one laser-guided shell, the 152 mm-diameter Kvitnyk, that can be used with the army’s 2S3 self-propelled howitzers and D-20 towed artillery pieces in addition to GPS-guided shells. Another laser-guided 122mm shell, the Karasuk, is also being developed by a national arms company for the D-30 towed howitzer and the 2S1 self-propelled howitzer.

However, given that Moscow is rapidly making significant advances up front, the backing of US munitions is unlikely to offer Ukraine an advantage over Russia in terms of artillery or tip the balance in Kiev’s favor. Eastern conflict. Russia is gradually piercing Ukraine’s defenses and seizing control of numerous important places in the Donbass through intense bombardment that prioritizes large-scale fire with great accuracy.

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