Russian drone knocks out British howitzer (VIDEO)
The Russian Defense Ministry has shared footage purporting to show a “precision” drone strike on a British armored vehicle operated by Ukrainian forces, with the howitzer seen engulfed in flames as its munitions cooked off in a large secondary blast.
The ministry published the undated footage to its Telegram channel on Wednesday evening, saying that a Russian Lancet drone had successfully targeted a UK-supplied AS-90 self-propelled howitzer.
“After being hit by loitering ammunition, the powder charges ignited and the ammunition detonated,” the military said, adding that the British weapon was “completely destroyed” in the “precision hit.”
London first announced the transfer of 32 AS-90s to Kiev earlier this year, alongside more than a dozen larger Challenger II battle tanks, with UK forces even training their Ukrainian counterparts to operate the weapon on British territory over the summer. They were first seen taking part in combat operations in June, after footage circulated online showing the weapon in action.
Operated by a crew of five, the self-propelled artillery pieces are lightly armored and equipped with 155-millimeter shells. They have a reported maximum firing range of nearly 25 kilometers, putting them on par with the US-made M777 howitzer, which has also been provided to Ukrainian troops. Both weapons outgun Kiev’s older self-propelled artillery units, including the Soviet-era 2S1 Gvozdika and the 2S3 Akatsiya.
Moscow has touted the effectiveness of its Lancet drones and loitering munitions, which have undergone recent upgrades to extend their operational range. In footage shared by Russian war correspondent Andrey Rudenko earlier this week, a Lancet was seen scoring a direct hit on a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet grounded at an airbase, with the newly improved UAV now alleged to have a range of up to 120km.