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Ukrainian Army deploys for the first time Danish CAESAR 8x8 howitzers to fight Russian troops

According to an article from Ukrinform published on July 13, 2023, Ukrainian artillery personnel from the Armed Forces of Ukraine deploys for the first time the 8x8 version of the CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers to conduct combat operations against Russian forces, which was previously owned by Denmark's Defense Forces. This development occurred a month after reports emerged of around 100 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces undergoing training in Denmark to operate these self-propelled howitzers.
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Ukrainian artillerymen used the Danish-owned CAESAR 8x8 self-propelled howitzer in combat (Picture source Ukrainian Armed Forces)

Denmark announced earlier this year that it would provide Ukraine with 19 French-made CAESAR 8x8 artillery pieces, which represents a notable addition to Ukraine's artillery arsenal. These howitzers were originally acquired by Denmark from the French company Nexter Systems. The first batch of 15 units was obtained in May 2017, followed by an additional four units in October 2019.

Danish Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen stated that the donation of these artillery pieces to Ukraine was in response to the "urgent needs" of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for artillery weapons. This decision demonstrates Denmark's commitment to supporting Ukraine's defense capability in light of regional security concerns.

It is worth noting that Ukraine already has prior experience with wheeled self-propelled howitzers. The Ukrainian Armed Forces currently have 30 CAESAR howitzers in service, configured in a 6x6 layout, also manufactured by Nexter Systems, along with 15 TRF1 155mm towed guns. They also utilize the domestically-produced 2S22 Bohdana, which have now a 2.0 variant, and the Swedish Archer FH77 is expected to arrive this summer.

The integration of the 8x8 CAESAR howitzers into the Ukrainian army will further enhance their artillery capabilities. Denmark's recent action aligns with the ongoing trend of international assistance and support for Ukraine, recognizing the country's urgent defense needs.

As the training is apparently now finished, the partnership between Ukraine and Denmark, as well as its implications for the regional security landscape, will be closely observed.

The CAESAR 8x8 self-propelled howitzer is a mobile artillery system developed by the French defense company, Nexter Systems. It represents an advanced version of the earlier 6x6 configuration and is designed for rapid deployment and high mobility across various battlefield scenarios.

The CAESAR 8x8 is mounted on a Tatra chassis, manufactured by the Czech company known for its heavy-duty trucks. The Tatra 8x8 chassis provides excellent off-road performance, enhancing the CAESAR's mobility in different terrains. It also improves the system's survivability by enabling quick transitions into firing positions, launching munitions, and rapidly relocating to avoid counter-battery fire.

The 8x8 version of the CAESAR is equipped with a 155mm/52 cal gun, capable of firing standard NATO ammunition. It has a firing rate of six rounds per minute and a maximum range of approximately 42 kilometers with standard ammunition, extending up to 55 kilometers with rocket-assisted projectiles.

The CAESAR 8x8 can carry a total of 30 rounds for the main gun and features an automatic loading system for efficient firing.

The vehicle can be operated by a crew of five, with three staying with the vehicle during firing operations while the other two can operate from a distance if necessary, ensuring crew safety. The system is designed to be airlifted and transported by C-130, A400M, or similar cargo aircraft, facilitating rapid deployment capabilities.

Its advanced fire control system and battlefield management system contribute to its accuracy and efficiency, making the CAESAR 8x8 a significant addition to any modern army's artillery force.


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