Losses of M109 self-propelled howitzers in Ukraine

Losses of M109 self-propelled howitzers in Ukraine
One of the former Norwegian M109A3GN self-propelled guns in Ukraine, January 2023. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Last year, foreign states began supplying American-made M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzers to the Kyiv regime. To date, more than 160 armored vehicles of various modifications have been transferred or promised, and new deliveries cannot be ruled out. Ukrainian formations began to use the equipment they received long ago and predictably suffered significant losses.

foreign technology

NATO countries began discussing the possibility of sending M109 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine just a few weeks after the start of the Russian Special Operation. There were no significant or lengthy disputes, and by the end of spring the first announcements of deliveries from several countries appeared. Subsequently, several more countries announced their intention to transfer the existing “Paladins” to the Kyiv regime.

Norway became the first supplier of American self-propelled guns to Ukraine. In early May, it announced the shipment of 20 M109A3GN self-propelled guns out of 56 available to its army. Just a few days after the announcement, the transportation of equipment began, and Ukrainian crews began to master the resulting vehicles. As was later reported, self-propelled guns entered the combat zone in mid-July.

In June, it became known about the upcoming delivery of M109A4BE self-propelled guns. Until the mid-2023s, such equipment was in service with Belgium, after which it was sold to foreign countries and commercial organizations. Last year, Great Britain bought two dozen self-propelled guns from OIP Land Systems for transfer to the Kyiv regime. Deliveries of equipment to Ukraine continued until the beginning of XNUMX.

Transportation of M109L self-propelled guns from Italy, October 2022. Photo Telegram / BMPD

In August, the Kiev regime received help from Latvia. It allocated six armored vehicles of the M109A5Ö modification, previously received from Austria. At the same time, the bulk of such equipment, approx. 40 units, Latvia did not give it away.

In October, deliveries of M109L self-propelled guns from Italy began. Previously, the Italian army decided to switch from the old American “Paladins” to modern German self-propelled guns PzH 2000. In connection with this, more than two hundred M109L were released from it, and they decided to give about half of this equipment to Kiev.

The latest supplier of the M109 self-propelled guns is the USA. In the first months of 2023, they delivered to Ukraine 18 self-propelled guns of one of the latest modifications, the M109A6.

As part of the officially announced deliveries, a total of 164 Paladin self-propelled guns have arrived or will arrive in Ukraine. At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that not all information about deliveries was published, and the actual amount of equipment transferred is higher. In addition, new episodes of assistance are possible, which will increase the total number of self-propelled guns shipped.

Damaged self-propelled gun M109A4BE, DPR, January 2023. Photo Lostarmour.info

Targets for strikes

Foreign-made self-propelled howitzers pose a known threat to our troops and the population of new regions. As a result, the Russian army began to look for such equipment and knock it out by any available means - return artillery fire, army missiles aviation, loitering ammunition, etc.

The first reports of the combat use of Paladins came from the Ukrainian side last summer. However, these were only isolated episodes. Probably, at that time, the Kiev regime still had a sufficient amount of Soviet-style equipment and had the opportunity to save imported M109s.

However, as the previously existing self-propelled guns were knocked out, the Ukrainian formations had to send newly acquired Paladin vehicles into battle. Since last fall, M109s have regularly appeared in combat zones and come under attack from Russian weapons.

According to the LostArmour database, the first Paladins were destroyed in early November. Then the Russian army discovered and destroyed two M109A3GN vehicles that arrived from Norway in the Nikolaev region.

Italian M109L, June 2023. Photo Lostarmour.info

Since mid-January, Ukrainian M109s (without specifying specific modifications) have regularly appeared in reports from the Russian Ministry of Defense. Once every few days, the Ministry of Defense reports the defeat of one or two self-propelled guns in one direction or another. So, just from the beginning of September, nine enemy self-propelled guns were recorded in the combat account of our troops.

According to reports from the Ministry of Defense, from January to the present, 58 enemy M109 self-propelled guns of various versions have been destroyed. The LostArmor database contains 14 records with photographs and coordinates of damaged equipment. At the same time, 11 self-propelled guns from the unofficial database for some reason were not mentioned in the messages of the defense department on the specified dates of destruction or in the coming days. Three more destroyed armored vehicles are likely included in both lists.

Thus, to date, the Kiev regime has lost at least 69 Paladin self-propelled guns of all modifications - more than 40% of the total number of such equipment. At the same time, as photographs from LostArmour show, damaged vehicles are not always recoverable.

Risk Factors

The safe and long-term operation of the M109 self-propelled guns in Ukrainian formations is hampered by several factors. It is curious that not all of them are connected with Russian weapons and strikes. There are also technical problems that can, at a minimum, affect the situation.

Wreckage of an American M109A6, July 2023. Photo: Lostarmour.info

According to available data, foreign “partners” transferred only old-made armored vehicles to Ukraine. Thus, the Norwegian M109A3GN were built back in the sixties according to one of the previous versions of the project. Subsequently, they were repeatedly repaired and modernized, up to the current state of “A3GN”. The Italian M109Ls are much newer, but they have also been in service for several decades. The newest in the Ukrainian fleet are the American M109A6 - they were assembled from 1994 to 1999.

It is unlikely that Ukraine received self-propelled guns after major repairs and full restoration. This means that the supplied equipment has exhausted a significant part of its service life and can only be used for a limited time. At the same time, active use will contribute to the rapid depletion of the remaining service life of both the tracked platform and the weapons on it.

It can be assumed that a certain number of M109s have already failed for technical reasons - due to exhaustion of service life or due to irregularities during operation. The last option is very likely: Ukrainian artillerymen already have experience in damaging foreign equipment with their own hands.

Some technical features of the Paladin, even with full service life and in perfect condition, can negatively affect survivability and stability. Thus, the hull and turret of this self-propelled gun have only bulletproof and anti-fragmentation armor. Artillery shells of any caliber, both with a direct hit and with a close explosion, anti-tank missiles, loitering ammunition, mines, etc. are guaranteed to penetrate such armor and can provoke an explosion of ammunition with the destruction of a combat vehicle.

A well-known attempt at additional protection for the M109 self-propelled gun. Photo Telegram / Dambiev

The firing range of the M109 depends on the modification of the self-propelled gun and the ammunition used. Thus, older versions of the vehicle can send an unguided projectile only 18-20 km. At the same time, the late M109A6 with M982 Excalibur ammunition is capable of attacking targets at a distance of 40 km. Thus, when using almost any shots, the Ukrainian self-propelled gun must approach the contact line - and fall into the destruction zone of Russian strike systems of various kinds.

Deploying the Paladin into position and preparing to leave takes a few minutes. The self-propelled gun does not have a high rate of fire. A trained crew can maintain a rate of 3-4 rounds/min for several minutes. The established tempo is only 1 shot/min. Due to the length of deployment and low rate of fire, the vehicle must remain in position longer, increasing the likelihood of a retaliatory strike.

Deprecation problem

The basic version of the M109 self-propelled gun was developed and entered service with the United States in the early sixties. Subsequently, the self-propelled gun was repeatedly modernized with an increase in certain characteristics. Despite all the innovations, it is now morally outdated. Moreover, the first attempts to create a new model to replace it took place in the early nineties.

Thus, in 2022-23. Ukraine received from foreign partners a large amount of morally and physically obsolete equipment with limited potential. Such self-propelled guns, which have known limitations, had to face a technically advanced enemy in the person of the Russian army. The results of this were predictable - to date, more than 40% of the received and/or promised armored vehicles have been destroyed, and the demilitarization of the Paladins will not end there.
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  1. -5
    21 September 2023 04: 56
    Only one and a half hundred self-propelled guns, only one and a half hundred lancets can solve this problem
    1. +6
      21 September 2023 05: 09
      Quote from alexoff
      Only one and a half hundred self-propelled guns, only one and a half hundred lancets can solve this problem

      It remains to solve the problem of sufficiently saturating the UAVs of our troops - with which there are considerable problems, timely permission to launch drones - with which there are still problems, but first with early detection - which is the biggest problem.
    2. +3
      21 September 2023 08: 11
      Well, judging by the production of 50 lancets we have, then the army should have run out of self-propelled guns a long time ago.
      Why didn't it end? It's not that simple, because...
  2. +1
    21 September 2023 04: 56
    And someone laughed at our “barbecues”.
    1. +1
      21 September 2023 05: 39
      So they have “barbecues” - Svidomo, but we don’t. wassat
      tralflot1832 hi
    2. +7
      21 September 2023 08: 13
      We laughed because we cooked barbecues from javelins, which with a tandem warhead pierce the barbecues. Even here they talked primarily about barbecues as protection from roof thieves.
      But this really protects everything from drones. True, when they cooked barbecues at the beginning, no one cared about drones.
      1. -1
        27 November 2023 18: 02
        Finka barbecue - detonation of ammunition + deflection of the cumulative jet. If a javelin flies into the grill, this increases the crew’s chances very much, since there is also a fire alarm on the roof. This is a must-have against UFOs. N
        And they hardly thought about drones; switchblades are already a hundred years old.
  3. +4
    21 September 2023 05: 03
    Thus, in 2022-23. Ukraine received from foreign partners a large amount of morally and physically obsolete equipment with limited potential. Such self-propelled guns, which have known limitations, had to face with a technically advanced enemy in the form of the Russian army.
    recourse Well...more modest. And not all of our systems are the best, and now we are just organizing production for a lot of weapons. The Poles supply Crab. And the USA themselves, as you write, handed over the latest modification to the Ukrainian Armed Forces request and F-16 they promise to deliver. The ratio of novelty, in my opinion, of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is 0,8.
  4. 0
    21 September 2023 07: 24
    It’s really possible to sell all the old NATO stuff, and then the purchases of new ones will begin, again in America. They built a very clever plan, very much so.
  5. +5
    21 September 2023 07: 37
    do not read
    write the author at the beginning of the article!!!!
    1. +2
      21 September 2023 10: 16
      The title and preface were written by Roman to deceive me, I started reading further, but immediately smelled Ryabov. wassat
  6. +6
    21 September 2023 08: 58
    Summarizing the data from the Ministry of Defense and Lostarmor is brilliant.
    Konashenkov should be sent to twist the tails of cows, and Ryabov should be the speaker of the Ministry of Defense.
    Then the Ukrainian Armed Forces will lose all their equipment even more times.

    But seriously: I compared data on M109 losses at two well-known sites:
    -Lost Armor: 14 M109 lost
    -Oryx lost 35 M109
    Especially for those who believe that Oryx is playing along with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
    1. 0
      21 September 2023 10: 23
      Quote: Ivan Seversky
      -Lost Armor: 14 M109 lost
      -Oryx lost 35 M109

      Lost or damaged?
      1. 0
        21 September 2023 12: 25
        According to Oryx: 22 M109s destroyed, 13 M109s damaged.
    2. +1
      21 September 2023 10: 23
      I am for Ryabov to be appointed chairman. America will capitulate to his trust, and weak and useless technology will crumble on its own. I always wanted to have a piece of land and a farm in America. As for losses, M109s are similar to Crabs, probably some of the destroyed M109s are Crabs and vice versa. I am not discrediting the Oryx portal; you need to get information from as many sources as possible.
      1. +1
        21 September 2023 12: 31
        Quote: Little Bear
        As for losses, M109s are similar to Crabs, probably some of the destroyed M109s are Crabs and vice versa. I am not discrediting the Oryx portal; you need to get information from as many sources as possible.

        Crabs on Oryx 21: 18 destroyed, 3 damaged.
        Lost Armor is a good portal, but its policy of showing only Ukrainian Armed Forces losses does not allow it to be used for comparing losses. Therefore, the whole world is forced to use Oryx and there is no alternative.
        1. 0
          21 September 2023 13: 11
          apparently not very good, if the oryx found almost twice as many lost and damaged M109s. and they are the same OSINT as Lost Armor
    3. -1
      21 September 2023 15: 11
      To whom Oryx belongs, he plays along, a well-known garbage dump, they will write at least 5 or 55, who will ask them?
    4. +2
      21 September 2023 15: 20
      At the same time, do not forget that Lost Armor covered our losses, and on Oryx the losses are open to both sides. So who has more realistic data and who plays along with whom, let everyone decide for themselves.
  7. 0
    21 September 2023 13: 18
    More than 40% of received and/or promised armored vehicles were destroyed

    how can you destroy the promised armored vehicles?
  8. +4
    21 September 2023 14: 19
    The article places too much emphasis on the fact that the M109 self-propelled gun is old and worn out. You might think that the self-propelled guns in our army are new and wear-free...
  9. -1
    21 September 2023 21: 40
    Well, for clarity, the process of shooting from the not-oldest mod of this self-propelled gun. Palladin. You can appreciate the process itself, the surroundings and accessories! A bucket of olive oil is somewhere on the floor near the bed to properly fry the projectile, a brush on a stick to spread it properly. This is where lard comes in handy. Decent gas pollution with smokes of different colors and.... Of course, the ubiquitous lace! Which the gunner gives to the loader every time, before each new shot, so he tied it and pulled it.
  10. +1
    21 September 2023 22: 48
    Hmmm, the author is just as usual, they have old junk, we have time-tested classics, and our 2S3 Acacia is also not the first freshness and is also outdated, many cars have a number of (due to age and merciless use) faults, and even from storage It’s not much better that the acacias and the carnations 2S1 are in a deplorable condition, there are few capital ones, but they are there, and at the same time our guys are forced to fight on them (wounded but not yet killed), there aren’t enough 2S19 for everyone, I’m generally silent about the coalition, apparently she just for the parade. The M109 has fought in many places, and very successfully, a lot of them were made for it, there are also spare parts in warehouses and the armor is comparable to our 2s3, and by the way, the author, why don’t you write about the fact that our guys have to fight with old stuff, and why bother underestimating the enemy’s strength , so with your conclusions you belittle the feat of our soldiers who are fighting a well-equipped and motivated enemy, the author, because of people like you, they retreated in 41.
  11. +1
    22 September 2023 06: 53
    “Last year, foreign states began supplying M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzers to the Kyiv regime.” ... The first fart - and immediately into a puddle) Not a single Paladin has been delivered to Kyiv until now! And only Americans have them
  12. 0
    25 October 2023 12: 18
    But the US plans to launch the production of new self-propelled guns since the late 90s of the last century have not come to fruition. They gave something to Ukraine, now Israel will also need it. Yes at storage bases
    There are still quite a few of them, but how repairable are they? What will you use to fight, gentlemen from NATO?

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