PARIS ($1=0.93 Euros) — France has delivered 18 Caesar self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. 16 of them are damaged. The reason is known and reported by us in recent months – intense artillery fire. This leads to wear on the pipes. This was reported by the French newspaper Le Figaro on December 28.
- Better than the US-made Patriot, Ukraine expects ‘the Mamba’
- 155mm French TRF1 howitzer firing at 6rpm is used at Bakhmut
- 10 more Caesar 8×8 howitzers ordered from the Czech Republic
Caesar is a Fernan self-propelled howitzer that entered service in 2008. It has recorded combat engagements in several conflicts since then. The caliber of the howitzer is 155 mm/52 caliber. The suspension is 6×6 or 8×8, and a diesel engine drives the entire weapon system. The maximum speed is 100 km/h, and the off-road is 50 km/h. If the Caesar self-propelled howitzer uses rocket-assisted shells, the artillery projectile can reach a range of 50 km.
Ukraine insists that the howitzers be repaired on the territory of the country. The main reason is the danger of Russian attacks during their transport to Poland. Also, even without Russian attacks, Ukraine says it takes much longer for the howitzer to be transported to Poland, repaired, and returned to the front again. Such issues, as well as additional military support, were discussed at the bilateral meeting in Kyiv between the head of the French military department, Mr. Sebastien Lecorneau, and his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr. Alexey Reznikov. The meeting took place on December 28.
Kyiv has long been asking Paris to supply Leclerc tanks. They are also French-made and are the main battle tank of the French army. According to some sources, France’s refusal to date is due to the complexity of maintaining the tank.
Ukraine expects more Caesar SPHs
However, France intends to supply Ukraine with more Caesar self-propelled howitzers. According to Russian sources, they will be six. However, they may be from the inventory of the Royal Danish Army, which means that France will give Denmark permission to donate the howitzers to Ukraine. Denmark has 19 Caesar self-propelled howitzers and expects four more in 2023. The Danish self-propelled howitzers have an 8×8 suspension and are installed on a Tatra 815 chassis.
France has been one of Ukraine’s regular suppliers of arms and weapons systems since the start of the war, which began in late February. Deliveries in recent months include six TRF1 155mm towed howitzers and two Crotale air defense systems. So far, Paris has delivered to Kyiv about 60 armored personnel carriers, ATGMs, as well as HDP-2A2 anti-tank mines.
The wear of the barrels of the artillery systems delivered to Ukraine continues every month. The Ukrainian military loads each artillery system several times more than intended. In addition to the French, the German PzH 2000 is also followed by problems, but mostly in the fire control system.
The American M777 howitzer also suffers damage. There was even a case where one M777 howitzer underwent four barrel changes within a few months. Some of the problems faced by the Ukrainian armed forces are related to a planning error by the Allies regarding the repair and supply of spare parts for their weapons. Such was reported by Germany and the Berlin-donated PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.
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