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French Military to Deliver Advanced CAESAR Howitzers to Armenia

French Military to Deliver Advanced CAESAR Howitzers to Armenia

Armenia and France have signed an agreement for the delivery of French CAESAR howitzers to Armenia. The announcement was made by Sebastien Lecornu, the French Minister for the Armed Forces.

Lecornu highlighted the importance of this agreement, describing it as a "new important milestone" in the defense relations between France and Armenia. He mentioned that the agreement was finalized during a productive meeting with his Armenian counterpart, Suren Papikyan, on the sidelines of the Eurosatory international exhibition.

"We continue to strengthen our defense relationship with Armenia," Lecornu stated, emphasizing the warm and constructive nature of the discussions.

The CAESAR (Camion Équipé d'un Système d'Artillerie, or "Truck equipped with an artillery system") is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer. It is mounted on a six-wheeled armored Renault Sherpa chassis and is capable of firing NATO-standard shells with remarkable accuracy. Equipped with an inertial navigation system and a ballistic computer, the CAESAR can hit targets more than 40 kilometers away using "Extended Range, Full Bore" ammunition. With rocket-assisted or smart ammunition, it can reach targets over 55 kilometers away.

French Military to Deliver Advanced CAESAR Howitzers to Armenia

Developed by French defense contractor GIAT Industries (now Nexter Systems), the CAESAR howitzer has been exported to several countries. The units made for the French Army use a 6x6 Renault Sherpa 5 chassis, while other countries have chosen systems integrated on different chassis, such as the 6x6 Unimog or 8x8 Tatra 817.

The exact number of howitzers to be delivered to Armenia and the cost of the deal have not been disclosed. However, this agreement is seen as one of the most significant French-Armenian arms deals to date. The Armenian Defense Ministry noted that the contract was signed by one of Papikyan's deputies, Karen Brutian, and a top executive from KNDS France, the manufacturer of the CAESAR systems. Although specific details were not provided, the ministry indicated that new understandings were reached on military cooperation.

French Military to Deliver Advanced CAESAR Howitzers to Armenia

This agreement follows a pledge by France last year to sell weapons and provide other military assistance to Armenia. This includes sophisticated radars, short-range air-defense systems, armored personnel carriers, and night-vision equipment, some of which have already been delivered to Armenia.

France is also set to train Armenian military personnel. The French military plans to conduct three "mountain combat training courses" for Armenian soldiers this year. This was discussed during a recent meeting between Armenia's top general and France's ground army chief of staff in Germany.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan has expressed strong disapproval of the sale of French CAESAR howitzers to Armenia. In a statement, the Azerbaijani ministry accused France of provocative actions in the South Caucasus and warned that Armenia and the French government would bear full responsibility for any resulting conflict.

Armenia's move to strengthen its military ties with France comes amid growing tensions with Russia, its traditional ally and primary arms supplier. The ongoing war in Ukraine has strained Russia's military resources, prompting Armenia to seek alternative sources for its defense needs.


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