Moreau: Ukraine didn’t get CAESAR ‘normal ammo’, they’re expensive
According to French activist Xavier Moreau, Ukraine does not have “normal ammunition” for its French-supplied Caesar self-propelled howitzers. Moreau is referring to the ammunition that has the greatest range – 40 km. According to him, these ammunition are expensive, they are not produced in France and Paris will have to pay more money to Germany to produce them.
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Russian media RIA Novosti released a video interview with the French activist. He spoke very good Russian and explained the problems to Caesar in Ukraine. “Caesar SPH is not suitable for the conflict in Ukraine… these self-propelled howitzers will quickly fail and cannot be repaired…”. According to Moreau, to repair a howitzer Caesar must be taken apart and reassembled. This, in the words of Moreau, is the “secret of Caesar”.
Moreau is a French activist currently based in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR]. He is currently the owner of the security company Sokol Holding. It employs French and Russian ex-servicemen in the elite units. Before engaging in this activity, Moreau was an officer in the French elite units [he was a paratrooper]. He is the author of two books: “The new great Russia: From the Collapse of the USSR to the return of Vladimir Putin” and “Ukraine – Why France was wrong”. Moreau has a dual citizenship: French and Russian.
It should be noted that since the beginning of the year, one hears and writes less and less about the French Caesars in Ukraine. Of course, the closest explanation to reality is that neither Russia nor Ukraine is undertaking massive artillery barrages or offensives. It’s just that a large part of the ground artillery equipment remains in “standby” mode.
There are problems
Moro’s words may find their way to the truth because last year Ukraine experienced problems with the performance of self-propelled howitzers supplied by the west. This includes the French Caesar as well. BulgarianMilitary.com has reported several times, citing senior Ukrainian officers, that this artillery is experiencing problems.
There were cases when Ukrainian soldiers put such intense stress on the daily use of howitzers that their barrels burst. Even then, analysts commented that a large part of the artillery delivered to Ukraine was not designed in the past to withstand such intensity. We are talking about hundreds of shells per day that one howitzer fired. Some howitzers ran up to 1,000 rounds a day.
However, Caesar clearly had no problem with the muzzle and load intensity. However, the French howitzer had an ammunition problem. Very often there were reports that the fire control system could not recognize the ammunition in the howitzer. I.e. the software in the fire control system just gave an error.
What shells were supplied to Ukraine for the self-propelled artillery, Caesar Moreau does not say. He says, however, that they are not the 40-km range projectiles that Caesar is generally known for.
Caesars in Ukraine
It is known that by the end of October 2022, 18 [12+6] Caesar self-propelled howitzers were delivered to Ukraine. France provided training to Ukrainian combat units to work with Caesar. The Caesar variant, which is located in Ukraine, is on a 6×6 chassis.
In addition to France, Denmark also committed to supply at least 19 Caesars from its inventory, or from what it purchased from France. These 19 have already been delivered to Ukraine, and so Kyiv has 37 Caesar units located on Ukrainian territory. Another 12 are expected, which were promised in April this year by Paris.
155mm self-propelled howitzer Caesar
As we have already written, the 155mm self-propelled howitzer Caesar of the French Nexter Group is developed in two chassis variants – 6×6 and 8×8. The howitzer is extremely mobile and with a single tank, the charge can travel a little over 600 km at an average speed of 50 km / h. The maximum speed of the howitzer is 80 km / h.
The cabin is armored with a level of overprotection STANAG 4569 Level 2. The entire howitzer in combat deployment weighs just over 18 tons, is 10 meters long, and is almost four meters high. In addition to cannon and chassis, the French system has an autonomous weapon system, inertial navigation unit, initial speed radar, ballistic calculator, and the ability to interact with any C4I system.
The main gun is 155 mm / 52 mud artillery capable of firing up to 6 shells in one minute. The maximum range is from 4.5 to 40 km, but with the help of shell-jet, the range can be increased to 50 km.
The howitzer has a semi-automatic system for loading and automatic aiming and redirection of the weapon system. Works with all types of ammunition 39/52 mud standard NATO or ERFB, as well as intelligent ammunition. The howitzer unfolds in 60 seconds and the crew consists of 4-5 people.
The 155mm Caesar self-propelled howitzer has been involved in various French missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Mali, and Iraq. It can be transported by C-130 / A400 / IL76 / C-17 aircraft, as well as parachuted by them.
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