Caesar gun is a nightmare, say Russian gunners

Whatever may be said, Western armies have not experienced, since the Korean War, real high-intensity, long-term engagements. As such, the Gulf War of 1991, often put forward to justify arbitrations made by the West in terms of armies, equipment and doctrines, was too short, and too specific, to draw real conclusions from it. conclusions.

In this context, the war in Ukraine, since February 2022, is an opportunity, for these same Western armies, to confront their equipment, as well as, in a certain way, their doctrines, with reality. This was an opportunity to revisit certain certainties, particularly concerning the supposed relative effectiveness of Western equipment over more rustic Russian equipment.

This war also showed the decisive role of artillery in this type of conflict. In this area, the new European systems, equipped with a 52 caliber tube and more advanced sighting systems, have shown their great effectiveness, compared to Russian equipment, but also less efficient American or British equipment.

The Caesar Cannon truck mounted, of French design, particularly shines in this conflict. A time considered too light and insufficiently protected, compared to the Swedish Archer, or less mobile on difficult terrain, than the German Pzh2000, the latter has shown, on several occasions, the full effectiveness of its concept.

However, if the Ukrainians have sometimes sent contradictory messages about this system, a recent online interview, on Telegram, with Russian gunners, shows that it is, today, the most feared system, and the one that hurt them the most.

Sometimes contradictory messages concerning the Caesar cannon coming from Ukraine

Today, the Ukrainian armies field around fifty Caesars, including 19 in the 8×8 version supplied by Denmark, and 32 in the 6×6 version by France. These are due to receive, in 2024, 78 new Caesar 6×6, financed jointly by Paris, Copenhagen and Kyiv.

Cannon M-777 Ukraine
Ukrainian forces lost more than half of the M777 guns delivered by the United States, compared to less than 15% of their Caesar gun.

However, messages regarding the Caesar's combat effectiveness from Ukrainian armies have occasionally been contradictory. Few months ago, a Ukrainian artilleryman explained to French journalists, that the American M777 towed gun was more effective, because it could be more easily concealed, and in this way resist drone attacks, and because it was too complex to use and maintain.

The facts, however, did not prove him right, particularly when comparing the losses between the two systems. And these declarations had also led the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to publish a statement to contradict Colonel Yan Iatsychen, commander of the 56th motorized infantry brigade, and express his full satisfaction with CAESAR.

A few days ago, Alexander Zavitnevych, Chairman of the Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence of the Ukrainian Parliament, the Rada, had praised Caesar, in particular in the hands of the artillerymen of the 55th artillery brigade, then in charge of protecting the Zaporozhye theater.

However, he clarified that they were encountering difficulties regarding maintenance in operational condition (MCO), a difficulty on which KNDS-France and the Ukrainian authorities are actively working. At the same time, he indicated that the mobility of the French cannon was undermined during periods of heavy rain, in spring and autumn.

The testimony of a Russian artillery on the evolution of Ukrainian artillery

On these subjects, the interview with Russian artillerymen, conducted by fellow milbloggers, provides a complementary and very enlightening vision on the perception concerning the effectiveness of Ukrainian artillery, but also that of the French Caesar.

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Very efficient, the German Pzh2000 is also much more expensive than a Caesar, making it impossible to achieve an effective critical mass on the line of engagement.

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3 Comments

  1. Hello Fabrice,

    On the world I read that Germany and England have a joint project to develop remotely controlled wheeled howitzers of 155 millimeter caliber which will be mounted on Boxer armored vehicles. On the one hand, will it compete with the Caesar? On the other hand, has France taken the measure of the German offensive since the arrival of Scholz to power which aims to make Germany the European ruling power without sharing with France? An offensive that we haven't seen since the Second World War, no pun intended.

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