France in talks with Ukraine to transfer 6 additional French CAESAR 155mm howitzers

According to an interview published by the French news TV channel LCI on November 9, 2022, the French Ministry of Defense Sébastien Lecornu announced that France negotiates with Ukraine for the acquisition of six more CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers. (Listen to interview 00:37:13)
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Ukrainian army CAESAR 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source Ukraine MoD)

Citing information from the French Ministry of Defense Sébastien Lecornu, the six additional CAESAR 155mm howitzers that France could deliver to Ukraine could come from orders passed by allied countries.

According to our sources, currently, five countries have already ordered CAESAR howitzers including Denmark with an 8x8 version, Belgium and Lithuania have ordered the latest generation of the CAESAR called CAESAR NG, Czech Republic has signed a contract in June 2022 to acquire CAESAR in 8x8 configuration and Morocco has inked in early 2022, the purchase of 36 CAESAR howitzers in 6x6 configuration.

To date, France has already delivered to Ukraine, a total of 18 CAESAR howitzers. Since May 2022, Ukraine has received 18 CAESAR howitzers in 6x6 configuration as well as tens of thousands of shells, including LU 211 HE shells, BONUS munitions, and Ralec proximity fuzes. All these howitzers delivered to Ukraine came from the military inventory of the French army.

Before the donation of artillery systems to Ukraine, the French army had 76 CAESAR 1555mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzers, 32 AU-F1 tracked 155mm self-propelled howitzers, 12 TRF1 155mm towed howitzers, 13 M270 MLRS rocket launchers, 132 LLR 81 mm mortars and 132 RT-F1 120mm mortars. Citing information published on the Defense News website "Lignes de défense" on September 9, 2022, Ukraine would have also bought an undisclosed number of TRF1 155mm towed howitzers from France.

The CAESAR is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer designed a manufactured by the French company Nexter Systems that entered into service with the French Army in April 2077. The artillery system is available in 6x6 and 8x8 configurations with a semi-automatic or fully automatic loading system.

The CAESAR is armed with a 155mm 52-caliber cannon able to fire a wide range of 155mm ammunition as well as GPS-guided rounds. The howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 km with standard ammunition and up to 42 km using extended-range full bore-base bleed (ERFB-BB) rounds.