What technology will Russia exploit from the French CAESAR howitzer?

The Caesar self-propelled howitzer of France, which aided the Ukrainian Army, was seized by the Russian Army in the Donbass battlefield and sent to the Russian weapons manufacturer Uralvagonzavod for research.

Responding to the call of Ukrainian President Zelensky, Western countries have provided the Ukrainian Army with many modern weapons to resist pressure from the Russian Army.

France is an active country in arms aid to Ukraine ; In total, Paris committed to deliver 18 CAESAR howitzer to Kyiv (equivalent to 1 battalion) and also equal to a quarter of the total number of Caesar cannons of the French Army. For the first time, France handed over 12 guns.

However, not long after being put on the battlefield, a number of CAESAR howitzers were destroyed, including two that were captured by the Russians in intact condition, and were quickly handed over to the arms manufacturing company Russia’s leading is Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) “research”;

It is not clear where and under what circumstances two CAESAR howitzers of the Ukrainian Army were captured by Russian forces. But according to information, these self-propelled guns also belong to the 55th Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Army.

The CAESAR self-propelled howitzer is produced by the French company Nexter, as part of German-French defense cooperation. Caesar is a 155mm long barrel howitzer mounted on a 6-wheel truck chassis.

CAESAR howitzer has been put into service in the French army since 2007 and is highly appreciated by experts for its accuracy, as well as maneuverability thanks to the use of a 6×6 off-road truck chassis.

CAESAR howitzer is designed to suppress the enemy’s artillery, mortar, and missile battlefields; destroy fortifications and hidden life force; directly support infantry fighting. The firing range of the cannon is from 4.5 to 42 km, and the rate of fire is 6 rounds/min.

The question is, what technologies can Russia exploit of the self-propelled wheeled cannon, which is considered the most modern in the world? Listen to some Russian weapons experts.

Colonel Sergei Khatylev, former head of the Russian Air Force’s anti-aircraft missile force, said that if Uralvagonzavod engineers or other Russian experts dismantle the CAESAR howitzer, a lot of work can be exploited. Like new Western technology and can be applied to Russian weapons; especially the determination of the target coordinates.

And military expert Yuri Knutov said. “The CAESAR howitzer electronic guidance and control system allows the gunner to control the cannon via the touch screen in the cockpit as well as directly on the cannon. Once the artillery has entered the combat position, from these two positions, the gunner can enter the corresponding target coordinates.

Knutov explained that the study of the electronic system of the Caesar cannon could allow Russia to learn about the network communication system of the entire NATO bloc.

Target information travels through closed encrypted channels, the artillery battery receives information about the target, and enters them into the computer, then the cannon automatically picks up the aiming element accurately at the target and the gunner just presses the fire button. All these jobs are done with a high degree of automation.

Experts point out that in Russia there are technologies similar to Caesar’s artillery, especially those used in the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer, produced since 2013 at the Uraltransmash plant.

Currently, self-propelled artillery Koalitsiya-SV has only been put into service in small numbers in the Russian Army recently. However, it is important for developers to consider competitors’ products and how they solve certain technology problems; Knutov expert assessment.

In addition, the CAESAR howitzer was of interest from a safety point of view, as it was protected by anti-fragmentation armor; especially the ability to occupy the battlefield and get the fast-firing element of this cannon; Knutov expert assessment.

In addition, this expert Knutov added, the study of electronic warfare systems, learn how the communication channels of the Caesar cannon work, to create a suitable electronic jamming system.

According to expert Knutov, the French CAESAR howitzer “is not a super weapon”; it is like other heavy weapons provided to Ukraine by NATO countries such as the Anglo-American M777 howitzer, or Germany’s Panzerhaubitze self-propelled howitzer, nor does it have too much technology for Russia to copy.

Knutov said that the Russian Army has many types of high-quality artillery with short, medium and long-range ranges and for different purposes. They have all the necessary and modern features.

However, Knutov added, it would be useful for the Russian defense industry to study Western barrels, “The CAESAR howitzer uses a chrome-plated barrel, unlike the Russian forged barrels and has the ability to shoot at high speed. It is of interest that the automatic control system and the computer have many advantages.

Experts’ opinions on whether modern Western weapons that aid Ukraine will be of interest to Russian experts?

“All the new weapons available in Ukraine are of great military and strategic importance to us; they allow us to understand the development trends of one weapon or another within NATO”; expert Knutov concludes.

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