In the conflict with Russia, Ukraine is increasingly using weapons coming from Europe and the United States, including offensive heavy military equipment and NATO standards ammunition. The question is, do Ukrainians have a chance to win some strategic victories in this confrontation and how this would turn in the end for the opposing sides.
With regard to the situation in Ukraine, much has been said recently about NATO standards. After Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in April announced the transition of the country's armed forces to NATO weapons standards, many Western experts began to associate with this the possibility of a radical change in the current Russian-Ukrainian confrontation.
First of all, we are talking about artillery systems. Prior to the start of the special operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were armed with "Soviet standards" barrel artillery, including 152 mm caliber. Taking into account the prospects of the country's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance, steps were taken to switch to the 155 mm caliber. In particular, a new Ukrainian SPG Bogdana was developed under NATO standards, the enterprise "Artem" of Ukroboronprom was instructed to organize the production of appropriate ammunition. The beginning of the Russian special operation exacerbated this problem and accelerated the transition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to NATO weapons standards.
The situation in the combat zone is developing in such a way that today artillery plays a much greater role for both warring parties than at the initial stage of the conflict. That is why the West has focused its main efforts on supplying artillery and missile systems to Ukraine, primarily howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).
To date, at least four "NATO standard" artillery systems have been delivered to Ukraine and are used in combat operations – 155-mm self-propelled artillery installations M109 and CAESAR, howitzers M777 and FH70. Deliveries of German-made SPG PzH 2000 are also planned. Apparently, there is no shortage of ammunition: on May 28, the Ukraininan Minister of Defense Alexey Reznikov noted that "we have received more NATO-style artillery shells than we have those of Soviet shells".
Despite the raucous information support for the supply of these weapons, it should be noted that in terms of its specifications, in general, it is inferior to similar Russian samples. Not all systems can be called modern. For example, the most massive in the NATO armies SPG M109 has been produced since 1962, the British-German-Italian FH70 howitzer has been in service since 1978.
In addition, the United States confirmed the delivery of four 227-mm M142 HIMARS missile systems to Ukraine, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the transfer of American M270 MLRS of the same caliber to Kiev. The question whether these weapons will help Ukraine achieve a radical break was responded by US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, as he commented on the supply of American weapons to the conflict zone: "...No system is going to turn the war".
An analogy with Afghanistan inevitably suggests itself: in an effort to create a modern NATO-standards army in this country, the United States and its allies have spent more than $ 800 billion. The result is known to everyone.