The French Caesar self-propelled howitzer, which supported the Ukrainian Army, was captured by the Russian Army in the Donbass battlefield and delivered to the Russian arms firm Uralvagonzavod for research.
Western nations have furnished the Ukrainian Army with a wide array of contemporary weapons in response to the request of Ukrainian President Zelensky so that it can fend off the Russian invasion. In total, Paris committed to deliver 18 Caesar self-propelled guns to Kiev (equivalent to 1 battalion), which represents a quarter of all Caesar cannons in the French Army. France is an active nation in providing arms aid to Ukraine. France delivered 12 weapons for the first time.
The premier arms manufacturer in Russia, Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) “research,” soon acquired many Caesar cannons that had been destroyed shortly after being deployed on the battlefield, including two that had been recovered by the Russians in intact form; Unknown locations and circumstances around the capture of two Ukrainian Army Caesar cannons by Russian forces. However, research indicates that the 55th Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Army also possesses these self-propelled weapons.
As a result of a defense partnership between Germany and France, the French company Nexter manufactures the CAESAR self-propelled howitzer. 155mm long-barreled howitzer Caesar is placed on a 6-wheel truck chassis. Since 2007, the French army has been using the Caesar cannon, which is praised by experts for its precision and maneuverability due to the use of a 6×6 off-road vehicle chassis.
The Caesar cannon is made to directly support infantry combat while also suppressing the enemy’s artillery, mortar, and missile capabilities, destroying fortifications, and eliminating concealed living forms. The cannon’s firing range is 4.5 to 42 km, and its rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. The cannon can fire up to 18 rounds of ammunition per vehicle.
What technology might Russia use to its advantage with its self-propelled wheeled cannon, which is regarded as the most advanced in the world? Listen to some Russian weapons experts.
If Uralvagonzavod engineers or other Russian professionals disassemble the CAESAR cannons, a lot of work can be utilized, according to Colonel Sergei Khatylev, the former commander of the Russian Air Force’s anti-aircraft missile force. Russian weaponry can benefit from contemporary Western technology, particularly with regard to pinpointing the target’s coordinates.
And Yuri Knutov, a military specialist. The electronic guidance and control system of the Caesar cannon enables the gunner to operate the cannon both directly on the cannon and through a touch panel in the cockpit. From these two places, the gunner can enter the appropriate target coordinates once the artillery has moved into the battle position.
According to Knutov, Russia may gain knowledge of the network communication system used by the whole NATO alliance by studying the electronic system of the Caesar cannon. Target data moves through secure, encrypted channels. The artillery battery receives the target’s details and inputs them into the computer. The cannon then automatically picks up the precise target’s aiming element and the gunner only needs to press the fire button. High levels of automation are used to do each of these tasks.
According to experts, Russia has technology that are comparable to those found in Caesar’s artillery, particularly those found in the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer, which has been manufactured at the Uraltransmash company since 2013. Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery has just recently been implemented in the Russian Army in modest numbers. However, it is crucial for developers to take into account rivals’ offerings and the ways in which they address specific technological issues; Knutov expert assessment.
The Caesar cannon was also intriguing from a safety standpoint because it had anti-fragmentation armor, especially because of its capacity to occupy the battlefield and use its fast fire capability, according to Knutov’s expert opinion. Additionally, this subject matter expert Knutov suggested studying electronic warfare technologies in order to develop an effective electronic jamming system.
Expert Knutov claims that the French Caesar self-propelled artillery “is not a super weapon”; it is comparable to other heavy weapons that NATO nations have given to the Ukraine, such as the German Panzerhaubitze self-propelled howitzer or the Anglo-American M777 howitzer. It also doesn’t have too much technology that Russia couldn’t replicate it. According to Knutov, the Russian Army possesses numerous varieties of high-quality artillery with short, medium, and long-range ranges and for various objectives. They are equipped with all the essential and contemporary qualities.
Knutov continued, “The Caesar cannon has a chrome-plated barrel, unlike the Russian forging barrels, and has an ability to shoot at high speed. As a result, it would be beneficial for the Russian defense sector to study Western barrels. The fact that the computer and automatic control system offer many benefits is interesting.
What are the experts’ thoughts on whether Russian experts will be interested in contemporary Western weapons that help Ukraine?
The conclusion of the Knutov experts is that “all the new weapons accessible in Ukraine are of enormous military and strategic relevance to us; they allow us to grasp the development trends of one weapon or another within NATO.”