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France Accelerates Production of CAESAR 155mm Howitzers to Replenish Its Army and Support Ukraine.

| 2023

France has donated 18 CAESAR artillery systems to Ukraine since 2022. To replenish its artillery forces, KNDS, which includes the French defense company Nexter, has initiated the production of 16 new cannons. These latest models are set to be more advanced and efficient. The delivery process of these new howitzers for the French army, which began on November 23, will continue into 2024.
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The production of the French CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers was reduced from 30 to 15 months. (Picture source French Army)

The first of these new CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers, intended to replace the ones given to Ukraine, were delivered to the French Army at the end of November, 2023. The distribution includes 2 cannons to the 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment, some to the 93rd Mountain Artillery Regiment, and the remaining to the 40th Artillery Regiment and the 68th African Artillery Regiment. KNDS plans to deliver the remaining 12 units throughout 2024.

This rapid delivery was made possible by halving the production time from 30 to 15 months, a direct result of the implementation of a wartime economy aimed at faster and more cost-effective production. These new units underwent validation firing tests conducted by the French General Delegation for Armament before delivery.

The Chief of Staff of the French Army, during a parliamentary hearing, emphasized the critical role of artillery in the overall coherence of the army's capabilities. The addition of these more advanced CAESAR howitzers is part of the transformation process of the French land forces, which also includes the integration of new equipment such as Griffon, Serval, Jaguar armored vehicles, and the new Leclerc XLR tanks.

Known as the "sniper of cannons," the CAESAR has proven its worth in combat through its high mobility, ability to evade counter-battery fire, a firing rate of 6 shots per minute, and low ammunition consumption. Having sold over 350 units to 9 countries, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, a new order of CAESAR has been also requested by Ukraine. It stands as a symbol of French pride, both industrially and militarily.

The CAESAR (Camion Équipé d'un Système d'Artillerie) is a highly mobile and effective artillery system developed by the French company Nexter. Mounted on a 6x6 or 8x8 truck chassis, it combines rapid deployment and high firepower, making it a versatile asset on the battlefield. The system is capable of firing 155mm artillery shells with a range of up to 42 kilometers using extended-range ammunition. Its advanced navigation and firing control systems allow for quick setup and firing, often within minutes of halting. The CAESAR is also designed for low visibility and reduced logistical footprint, enabling effective use in various combat scenarios.

Globally recognized for its performance, the CAESAR has been adopted by several countries, including France, and has seen combat in various international conflicts. It stands out for its strategic mobility, which allows it to be easily transported by aircraft and quickly deployed in different theaters of operation. The system's success is also attributed to its high rate of fire and accuracy, providing significant firepower support for ground troops. The CAESAR has become a symbol of modern artillery capability, reflecting a blend of firepower, mobility, and technological advancement.

Defense News December 2023

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