Ukraine on Friday announced it had recently received Caesar howitzers from Denmark and the artillery systems were already in use.
Ukraine looks to bolster its military capabilities with the arrival of the French-made Caesar 155mm self-propelled howitzer artillery systems. The announcement came after Russia launched a large-scale missile attack across the country.
At least 19 people were killed and dozens more were injured in what’s been called the biggest attack by Russian forces on civilian targets in more than a month. An aerial strike that destroyed an apartment building in the central city of Uman was particularly deadly, and the region’s governor said 17 people were killed in that attack alone.
The capital city of Kyiv was also attacked for the first time in two months. Officials reported that air defenses took down 11 missiles and a pair of drones. No casualties have been reported.
“Today, the Danish Caesars arrived. And they are already on combat duty. This is the level of cooperation [between Ukraine and Denmark],” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said during a Friday press conference.
Samuel Ramani, a politics tutor at the University of Oxford and associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), called the arrival of the Danish Caesars a “vital artillery boost for Ukraine’s counter-offensive” on Twitter.
The Caesar, or CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie, is a 155 mm, 52-caliber howitzer that is mounted on a truck. A navigation system allows the weapon to fire powerful shells with a range of approximately 25 miles with extended-range ammunition or 34 miles with smart ammo.
Mahir Zeynalov, an editor at The Defense Post, told Newsweek that Caesars “canstay way behind the Russian artillery fire range, making it very difficult to detect and hit them. They are also very accurate and can very quickly change their location and avoid Russian forces to pinpoint and strike them.”
“These artillery batteries were key in slowing down Russian advance in many battlefields in the past year because Ukraine can hit Russia’s logistics and military installments deep inside Russian lines that supply essential equipment to Russian combat forces on the front line,” Zeynalov said.
Reznikov did not say how many Caesar howitzers had been delivered to his country, but Denmark pledged in January to provide Ukraine with all 19 of the artillery systems the country had ordered from the French manufacturer.
Denmark also said it will send Ukraine 80 Leopard 1 tanks by the end of 2023 and 100 overall in addition to 14 Leopard 2 tanks (sent in cooperation with the Netherlands).
Ukraine already has a number of Caesar howitzers in its arsenal that were provided by France. Last year, France gave Ukraine 18 Caesars and promised 12 more in January.
“If there is one single reason why Ukraine hasn’t fallen despite the full-scale Russian assault, it is thanks to Ukraine’s NATO-grade artillery, which Caesar howitzers are part of,” Zeynalov said. “There is no doubt Ukraine’s NATO-supplied artillery batteries have been a game-changer in this war and French Ceasar howitzers are the most powerful part of this fleet.”
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