According to the French newspaper Le Monde, France, Denmark and Ukraine have practically agreed on the supply of six French 155mm Caesar self-propelled howitzers in an eight-wheel configuration.
The French Caesar howitzers are not new for the Ukrainian armed forces. Back in April, French President Emmanuel Macron decided to provide Kyiv with these howitzers, but on a six-wheeled base. In total, over the past time, Paris has transferred 18 howitzers to the Ukrainian military, almost a quarter of its own regular number of these installations. Many of them in Ukraine have already ceased to exist, and therefore it was decided to send a new party.
In the spring, some military observers suggested that tracked howitzers would be better for Ukraine. Like, there are few good roads, and in bad weather the installations can get stuck. Lucky - the summer turned out to be dry, but now the rainy autumn has come and winter is approaching. In Paris, it was realized that Caesar's maneuverability in these conditions would decrease sharply. An eight-wheeled tractor, of course, has more cross-country ability than a six-wheeled one, and yet.
However, Paris does not have such systems, so the idea was born to take them from the Danish order. In 2017, the Danish government ordered 15 units of these self-propelled artillery mounts, and two years later increased the contract by four guns. And now Copenhagen suddenly started talking about the fact that, since the finished guns "are still in the process of technical verification and it may turn out that they do not fully comply with Danish specifications, then they can be abandoned."
A variant of the Caesar self-propelled guns, ordered by the Danes, the second generation of French howitzers, which received the word Nexter in addition to their specific name. But the Danish modification differs from the basic version in some additional options, which doubled the weight of the installation to 32 tons. Thus, the armor on Danish howitzers has been increased. The ammunition load is 36 rounds instead of 18. The installations were equipped with an automated system of self-binding and homing to the target.
In addition to the standard high-explosive shells for the French army, the LU-122 and Hollow Base Nexter can use German Rheinmetall Denel Munitions Velocity enhanced Long-range Artillery Projectile (VLAP) ammunition, the maximum firing range of which reaches 58 kilometers.
Another difference between the Nexter and the previous generation Caesar is the KATANA guided artillery ammunition developed by the French company Nexter. Their trials are over. Serial production was planned to begin next year, but a certain amount of ammunition for debugging the technological process is already being produced. Le Monde does not report whether German ammunition and French KATANA will be included in the supply.
The firing range of KATANA ammunition reaches 60 kilometers. The new projectile can be adjusted during the flight. Guidance is provided by the joint use of satellite navigation, built-in inertial and semi-active laser control systems. The ammunition has a multi-mode fuse that can be set to fire from hitting a target, at a distance from it, or with a delay.