France is preparing to deliver a new batch of Caesar self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.
That’s according to Le Monde, Ukrinform reports.
"According to our information, France is preparing to deliver to Ukraine a new series of Caesar guns, forwarded from the order originally intended for Denmark. This delivery may refer to six to 12 howitzers out of the 15 requested by Kyiv," the newspaper wrote, noting that the delivery will be the subject of lengthy negotiations.
Although technical discussions are being finalized, the maneuver is subject to a political agreement in principle between the three governments. This became known during the talks over the recent weeks between President Emmanuel Macron of France, his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, and Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, the report reads.
The publication notes that the operation is unprecedented and complicated for the French authorities. “The equipment that Paris is committed to delivering to Kyiv was originally intended for Denmark as part of an order for 15 units placed in 2017, supplemented by four more guns in 2019, supplied by their manufacturer Nexter. Copenhagen would all the more agree to give up some of the equipment at this stage, as it is still in the process of technical inspection, or even not all of it meets the specifications set by the Danes. After some hesitation, Ukraine, whose leadership is satisfied with the effectiveness of the Caesars, is ready to take the equipment and employ it as it is. Neither the Elysee Palace nor the Ministry of the Armed Forces wished to comment on the operation," the publication notes.
It adds that, having been warned by his staff, Macron would in any case refuse to take the new Caesars from the French army stock, which has already been reduced after 18 guns were supplied in the spring and early summer: the contingent sent to Ukraine is almost a quarter of the total available to the regular army, which is 76 units.
At the same time, the article notes, Kyiv will not lose out on the replacement: "While Danish Caesars are a heavier model than that of the French army (32 tonnes versus 18 tonnes), they are also more powerful: installed on an eight-wheeler instead of a six-wheel base, they are able to carry up to 36 shells instead of 18, while the cabin has more protective armor."
The Caesar is a perfect tool for counter-battery warfare, as well as for detecting and destroying enemy artillery before it detects you," a military source emphasizes.
The publication notes that in the best case, President Macron could outline the main aspects of the operation on Monday, October 3, during a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, at least if the latter by that time recovers from the Covid-19 infection that forced him to self-isolate in recent days.
Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine