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Ukraine seeks to acquire French CAESAR Howitzers Integrating Artificial Intelligence Technology.

| 2023

On 24 December 2023, Ukraine expressed interest in acquiring additional CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, now enhanced with a cutting-edge firing control system that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This announcement was made by the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Ivan Gavrylyuk, during a meeting with a French Senate delegation. Originally shared on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, the statement underscores Ukraine's pursuit of advanced military technology to enhance battlefield efficiency.
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KNDS Caesar 6X6 Self-Propelled Howitzer. (Picture source: KNDS and French MoD)

The CAESAR howitzer, renowned for its mobility and firepower, is set to undergo a significant upgrade with the integration of AI. This technological enhancement is expected to revolutionize the system's targeting and firing mechanisms, allowing for precise engagements with reduced ammunition expenditure. The AI-driven control system is specifically designed to optimize the howitzer's operational efficiency, reducing ammunition usage by an impressive 30%. This not only signifies a leap in artillery technology but also demonstrates Ukraine's commitment to adopting sustainable and intelligent warfare practices.

Ukraine's decision to enhance its artillery arsenal with AI-empowered CAESAR howitzers aligns with its ongoing efforts to maintain a strong defense posture amid persistent security challenges. This technological advancement represents a strategic shift in Ukraine's military approach, focusing on precision, sustainability, and high-tech solutions to fortify its defense capabilities.

The engagement with the French Senate delegation highlights the continued international support for Ukraine, particularly in the realm of defense and security cooperation. The partnership in advanced military technology, such as the AI-integrated CAESAR howitzers, is a testament to the strengthening relations between Ukraine and its European allies, reinforcing a united stance against regional security threats.

For the Ukrainian army, the use of these AI-integrated howitzers could mean significantly reducing the number of shots needed to hit a target, thus optimizing the use of their limited arsenal. In times of shortage, this increased efficiency in ammunition usage is not just a matter of military strategy but also battlefield survival. Adopting such technologies could thus play a key role in enhancing Ukraine's defensive capabilities against an opponent with numerical artillery superiority.

As a reminder, in an official statement dated December 7, 2023, the French army confirmed it had donated 30 Caesar artillery systems to Ukraine since 2022. This total includes 18 Caesar cannons initially provided by the French army, plus 12 additional units directly acquired by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry from KNDS.

Technically speaking, the CAESAR artillery system, known as the "sniper of cannons," has proven its worth in military conflicts due to its high mobility, ability to evade counter-battery fire, a firing rate of six shots per minute, and low ammunition consumption. This system, which has been sold to over 350 units in nine countries, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, is also sought after by Ukraine. The CAESAR stands as a symbol of French pride, both industrially and militarily.

Developed by the European company KNDS, formerly known as Nexter, the CAESAR (Camion Équipé d'un Système d'Artillerie) is a highly mobile and effective artillery system. Mounted on a 6x6 or 8x8 truck chassis, it combines rapid deployment and high firepower, making it a versatile asset on the battlefield. Capable of firing 155mm artillery shells up to 42 kilometers with 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.


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