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Jun 10, 2022
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Biden’s Greyhound. Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

The day before, the President of France Emmanuel Macron had a telephone conversation with a Ukrainian colleague Vladimir Zelensky. The politicians discussed security guarantees for Kyiv, the current situation in the country and further defense support.

Particular attention, according to Zelensky, was paid to the movement of Ukraine to the European Union – at present, the parties are “coordinating steps” on this issue. In addition, as emphasized in the press service of the Elysee Palace, Macron asked his colleague about the needs for military equipment, as well as political, financial and humanitarian assistance.

“He [Макрон — прим. ред.] told President Zelensky that France remains mobilized to meet these Ukrainian needs, including for heavy weapons.

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

Probably, we are talking about the imminent transfer to Kyiv of six more 155-mm self-propelled artillery mounts (ACS) CAESAR, radio station Europe 1 notes, citing informed sources. Paris delivered the first six such guns to the Ukrainian military at the end of April, at the same time Milan anti-tank missile systems were sent to the country.

According to Europe 1, the announcement of new CAESAR deliveries could coincide with the visit of the French leader to Kyiv, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks. At the same time, the small amount of military assistance to Ukraine in the publication is associated with a small number of artillery pieces in the arsenal of France: at the moment, Paris has only 70 installations of this type, and the production of new weapons takes about a year.

Dangerous weapon

The possible sending of six French self-propelled guns to Ukraine raises certain concerns in Russia, because this weapon with a caliber of 155 millimeters is a heavy and powerful projectile, the firing range of which exceeds 30 kilometers, the retired colonel emphasized in an interview with a Politika Today correspondent Victor Litovkin.

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

“It is, of course, dangerous for us. But I think that these howitzers will be destroyed in the same way as American M777 howitzers, Czech vz.77 Dana howitzers and other weapons that are supplied by the West to Ukraine are destroyed, ”the source of the publication expressed confidence.

CAESAR installations, created by Nexter, are a self-propelled analogue of the towed 155-mm TRF1 gun. The first sample of the new howitzer was demonstrated back in 1994, but only in July 2003 did the French army receive five self-propelled guns to assess their operational and technical capabilities. In 2011, 72 CAESARs entered service with eight artillery batteries of the French Armed Forces.

The self-propelled unit is capable of transporting up to 18 projectiles, including high-explosive fragmentation, smoke, cluster, illumination, active-reactive, and BONUS anti-tank guided projectiles. Its maximum rate of fire is six rounds per minute, and the firing range reaches 42 kilometers.

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

Aiming the gun at the target is carried out automatically, as well as the processes of loading shells into the barrel of the howitzer. The main weapon of CAESAR is a 155-mm upgraded version of the TRF1 gun with a barrel length of 52 calibers. In addition, the self-propelled guns are equipped with the Sigma-30 fire control system, which includes the NAVSTAR navigation system receiver.

The CAESAR installation is based on a Sherpa 5 truck from Renault, the cab of which is covered with armor plates to protect against small arms fire and shell fragments. Its crew, as a rule, consists of five people, but if necessary, the self-propelled guns can be controlled by the calculation of only three military men.

The complex has all the necessary equipment, which is designed for rapid deployment in any theater of operations. Due to its characteristics, the installation can use a wide variety of ammunition to destroy both open and protected targets, block maneuvers and movements of the armored forces of a potential enemy.

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

Among the main advantages of CAESAR, experts highlight the low cost of production, mobility, ease of maintenance, and stealth compared to heavier tracked installations. At the same time, the self-propelled guns have a number of disadvantages, namely, low off-road patency, a low degree of protection against enemy fire, as well as a small portable ammunition load.

Despite this, the French development is still in demand on the international artillery market. As of 2015, CAESAR was in service with three more states, in addition to France: Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Thailand. In 2009, the installation was used in Afghanistan, in 2013 during the Tuareg uprising in Mali, and from 2016 to 2019 it was involved in operations in Iraq and Syria.

Macron’s hypocrisy

Macron’s decision to supply Kyiv with another portion of military aid cannot but surprise, because last week the head of state noted the mediating role of France in the conflict in Ukraine, Litovkin recalled. According to him, all this indicates that Macron is not able to make independent decisions in isolation from the United States.

Biden's Greyhound.  Why France gives Kyiv deadly CAESAR howitzers

“Macron talks about peace in Ukraine, while he himself sends deadly weapons to continue the hostilities. This act speaks of his hypocrisy and that he is under the heel of the Americans and is not able to independently make decisions that would meet the national interests of France, and not NATO and the United States. Once upon a time [премьер-министра Великобритании] Tony Blair was called a poodle [президента США] George W. Bush, and Macron is probably Biden’s Greyhound,” Litovkin summed up.

Earlier, Macron urged “not to humiliate Russia”, because sooner or later the states will have to cooperate with it. He also expressed the hope that after the end of hostilities, the parties will be able to “pave the way out of the crisis with the help of diplomacy.”

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