11:28 18 Jan 2024

France to produce 78 Caesar artillery systems for Ukraine

Photo: Facebook / Zaluzhnyi

France will produce self-propelled artillery systems for the needs of the Ukrainian military, Rubryka reports, citing the French Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu, in an interview with Le Parisien.

What's the problem?

Since spring 2022, the Ukrainian army has been using Western-model artillery for defense and liberation of the land occupied by Russia. It started with 155-millimeter American howitzers, and at this point, Ukraine has received over a dozen systems of various calibers from its partners.

On April 22, 2022, France decided to provide Ukraine with 12 Caesar self-propelled artillery units with a caliber of 155 mm from the French army's reserves.

Later, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, announced that the government would continue supplying Ukraine with 155-millimeter self-propelled artillery units, Caesar.

However, Russia still has the upper hand in the quantity of necessary weapons for successful combat operations. Ukraine needs additional artillery and other ground-based means of attack as Russia continues to shell the entire front-line territory with artillery systems, especially affecting settlements near the front line.

What's the solution?

France will produce 78 Caesar self-propelled artillery systems for the needs of Ukraine's Armed Forces.

Caesar is considered the "flagship of French artillery." The artillery unit has a caliber of 155 mm and can fire up to a distance of 42 km, delivering about six rounds per minute.

Wireless detonators for Caesar allow projectiles to be detonated in the air before direct contact with the target or any surface. The artillery system can move at speeds of 80 km/h on roads and 50 km/h off-road.

САУ Caesar із Франції у ЗСУ

Photo: Facebook/ Zaluzhnyi

How does it work?

"While Western military aid is running out, France is implementing a wartime economy within itself," said Lecornu.

The head of the French defense department added that Ukraine is ready to invest some of its resources into armaments.

"It has just purchased six units with its own funds to kick-start the initiative," the minister added.

Sebastien Lecornu also announced the visit of his Ukrainian counterpart, Rustem Umierov, to France on January 18 and informed about the planned joint visit to the Nexter factory in Bourges, where Caesar self-propelled artillery units are manufactured.

However, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Rustem Umierov, "for security reasons," canceled the planned visit to France. The official wanted to participate in the launch of the "artillery coalition" to assist Ukraine.

САУ Caesar із Франції у ЗСУ

Photo: Facebook/ Zaluzhnyi

What do we know about the artillery coalition?

On January 1, the "Artillery Coalition" to strengthen Ukraine's capabilities against Russia began operating in Paris. It is led by France and the United States operating within the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

23 countries will join the "artillery coalition." Its goal is to "combine efforts to help Ukraine have artillery in the short and long term," as the French Ministry of Defense explains.

It was planned that Rustem Umierov and his French counterpart, Sébastien Lecornu, would visit industrial facilities in Bourges and the MBDA missile ship in Suresnes on January 18 in the second half of the day. As Umerov will not be present, the meeting will take place online.

In April 2023, Danish Caesar self-propelled artillery systems took over combat duty in Ukraine.

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