Estonia to Purchase 12 Wheeled CAESAR Self-Propelled Howitzers from France

  • 2024-06-19
  • Estonian Centre for Defence Investments

Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) has signed contracts with the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and the defence company KNDS for the procurement of 12 wheeled self-propelled howitzers CAESAR, with the option to purchase additional howitzers in the future. The contracts were signed at one of the world's largest defence industry exhibitions, "Eurosatory 2024," in Paris.

"France is a strong ally of Estonia in NATO and the European Union, with whom we share a long-term, trustworthy cooperation in defence procurement. French companies play a significant role in terms of capabilities, quality, and production volumes in the supply chain of Estonia's national defence and in the European defence industry as a whole," said ECDI’s Director General Magnus-Valdemar Saar.

“Wheeled artillery is a key capability for an efficient fire support and the CAESAR is probably the most advanced solution available. This joint acquisition between Estonia, Croatia and France will enhance the interoperability between the Land Forces of EU countries,” stated General Gaël Diaz De Tuesta, the French National Armaments Director (Direction générale de l’armement, DGA).

The 6x6 chassis CAESAR-type 155 mm calibre self-propelled howitzers produced by the French defence giant KNDS will be integrated into the newly established third self-propelled artillery battalion, which will operate directly under the Estonian division, explained Project Officer Col-Ltn Rauno Viitmann.

"Considering the reliability and effectiveness of the CAESARs in various armed conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, we can say that we have obtained the best possible solution. For us, cooperation with France in developing indirect fire capability is important, as well as the fact that we will receive the systems quickly and be able to integrate them with the domestic fire support system TOORU," commented ECDI Strategic Category Manager (Armament) Ramil Lipp.

The first 6 CAESARs will be delivered to Estonia at the end of 2024, with deliveries continuing until mid-2025. “Thanks to the reinforced production line of KNDS France, the first howitzers will be delivered at the end of this year,” added General Emeric Wininger, Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America at DGA.