TechArmenia strengthens ties with France through Caesar howitzer deal

Armenia strengthens ties with France through Caesar howitzer deal

CAESAR, illustrative photo
CAESAR, illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikipedia

7:36 PM EDT, June 21, 2024

Armenia and France have agreed to purchase Caesar, a French self-propelled howitzer. This is another sign of Armenia's rapprochement with the West and the simultaneous cooling of relations between Yerevan and Moscow. We explain the Caesars' capabilities.

In 2023, information emerged that Armenia is considering leaving the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The local authorities are increasingly looking for military equipment agreements with NATO countries. The probable reason for this behavior is Russia's failure to fulfill previously signed contracts. As a result of Western sanctions, it has problems producing and exporting equipment for its army.

Armenia buys French self-propelled howitzers Caesar

"We continue to strengthen our defense relations with Armenia. [...] A new, important milestone in signing a contract to purchase Caesar howitzers," wrote French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu on his social media profiles.

The Caesar howitzers (CAmion Équipé d'un Système d'ARtillerie) are weapon systems using 6.1-inch caliber shells, the standard in this type of NATO artillery system. They provide a rate of fire of up to 6 rounds per minute and can work in MRSI mode, with a range of targets from 19 to 25 miles (depending on the type of shells).

From the photos the French defense minister published, France will supply Armenia with variants mounted on 6x6 truck chassis (heavier variants based on 8x8 trucks are also produced). They are equipped with a 215 HP engine, allowing the entire vehicle to accelerate up to 62 miles per hour on roads and up to 31 miles per hour off-road.

The details of the contract, particularly its value and the number of artillery systems ordered by Armenia, have not yet been disclosed.

It is no secret, however, that the agreement involving the Caesar howitzers is only part of a broader military-technical cooperation between France and Armenia. Already last year, it was confirmed that France would supply Armenia with air defense equipment, including Ground Master 200 radars and short-range Mistral anti-aircraft systems. Besides that, Armenia also decided on the French armored vehicle Bastion.

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