French Defense Ministry orders CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to replace those delivered to Ukraine

As reported by Laurent Lagneau in Opex360, among the 77 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers that it must possess, in accordance with the format defined in the report annexed to the Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019 -25, the French Army currently has only 58 left as a result of its gifts to Ukraine.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
CAESAR of the French 40th Artillery Regiment during the rehearsal of the Belgian National Day military parade in Peutie, 19 July 2022 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

It is foreseen that the French Army should, in the long term, have 109 CAESAR NGs (next-generation). Last February, Laurent Lagneau reminds, two options were on the table: to acquire 109 CAESAr NG or to order only 33 of them, the 76 systems then in use having to be brought to this new standard. The gift of the 18 systems to Ukraine, therefore, seemed to change the terms of the equation. During a hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the Minister for the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, announced that an order for 18 CAESAr had just been notified to Nexter to "replenish the stock of our armies".

Minister Lecornu specified that an envelope of 85 million euros has been released to finance this order for 18 CAESAr SPHs: “The money is there. It is rather caught up in the management of the current LPM because we know how to do it, without it upsetting an existing program. Clearly, we are not delaying, we are not canceling a program started to complete it. 85 million euros, given the overall envelope of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, we can do it”, he stated.

It now remains to be seen how Nexter and its subcontractors will organize themselves to accelerate their production rate, especially since the CAESAr has also attracted foreign customers, namely Belgium (28 CAESAR NGs). Currently, it takes 18 months to produce a unit.