Ukraine has received 18 Caesar self-propelled howitzers from France. 16 of them have been damaged. The reason is well known and has been reported by us in previous months: heavy artillery fire. This wears down the pipes. The French publication Le Figaro recently reported on this.
A self-propelled howitzer manufactured by France, Caesar, went into service in 2008. In numerous wars since then, it has documented combat encounters. The howitzer fires 155 mm/52 calibre rounds. A diesel engine powers the whole armament system, which is suspended in a 6*6 or 8*8 configuration. Off-road vehicles are only permitted to go at a maximum speed of 100 km/h. An artillery bullet fired from the Caesar self-propelled howitzer may travel 50 kilometres if rockets are used as assistance.
The howitzers must be fixed on Ukrainian soil, the country’s government maintains. The threat of Russian assaults during their transportation to Poland is the key justification. Additionally, Ukraine claims that even in the absence of Russian strikes, it takes a lot longer to transport, fix, and return the howitzer to the front. The chief of the French military department, Mr. Sebastien Lecorneau, met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr. Alexey Reznikov, in Kyiv to discuss these matters as well as additional military support. On December 28, the meeting was held.
Kiev has long requested Leclerc tanks from Paris. They are also produced in France and serve as the French army’s primary battle tank. Some sources claim that France has so far refused because of how difficult it is to maintain the tank.
Ukraine expects additional Caesar SPHs
France does, however, propose to give Ukraine more Caesar self-propelled howitzers. They will be six, say Russian sources. However, it’s possible that they came from the Royal Danish Army’s stock, in which case France would authorise Denmark to deliver the howitzers to Ukraine. With four more coming in 2023, Denmark will have 19 Caesar self-propelled howitzers. The Danish self-propelled howitzers are mounted on a Tatra 815 chassis and have an 8*8 suspension.
Since the war’s outbreak in late February, France has consistently provided Ukraine with guns and weaponry. Six TRF1 155mm towed howitzers and two Crotale air defence systems have recently been delivered. Up to this point, Paris has sent about 60 armoured personnel carriers, ATGMs, and HDP-2A2 anti-tank mines to Kiev.
Every month, the artillery systems that were delivered to Ukraine continue to lose their barrels. Each artillery system is loaded three times heavier than intended by the Ukrainian military. Along with the French PzH 2000, there are issues with the German PzH 2000, primarily with the fire control system.
Additionally, the American M777 howitzer sustains damage. One M777 howitzer even had four different barrels replaced within a short period of time. A planning blunder by the Allies about the maintenance and provision of spare parts for their weaponry is one of the issues the Ukrainian armed forces are currently dealing with. Germany and the Berlin-donated PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers reported this.