France will supply Ukraine with several CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Ouest-France that was published on April 22.
“We are delivering significant equipment, from Milan [anti-tank missiles] to CAESAR [howitzers],” President Emmanuel Macron told the regional newspaper. “I think we have to continue on this route. Always with the red line that we will not become parties to the conflict.”
Franco-German MILAN anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) have been already spotted with Kiev forces and American mercenaries in Ukraine.
Manufactured by the partly state-owned arms maker Nexter Systems, the CAESAR is a 155mm 52-caliber howitzer mounted on a six-wheeled truck chassis. The howitzer can fire up to six rounds per minute and has a firing range of around 42 kilometers using ERFB [extended range, full bore] shells, and up to 55 kilometers using rocket assisted shells.
Macron said that around 40 Ukrainian service members will be trained on the CAESAR in France. Considering that each howitzer needs a crew of a five to six personnel, it looks like France won’t be supplying more than a dozen systems to Ukraine.
Defence Minister Florence Parly confirmed on Twitter that France would supply “several” CAESAR howitzers along with “thousands” of shells to Ukraine.
France’s military support to Ukraine is not limited to the supply of MILAN ATGMs and CAESAR howitzers. The country also provided Kiev forces with Mistral MANPADs [man-portable air-defense systems], according to several reports. These systems are yet to be spotted in Ukraine, however.
Like the rest of Kiev’s Western allies, France hopes that its military support will force Russia to end its special military operation in Ukraine. In reality, this support is only prolonging the war and hindering peace efforts.