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1st of 8X155 mm FRA CAESAR cannons arrived in A-stan

#1
France to send 8X155 mm cannons (CAESAR) to A-stan this summer

It's been announced today that France will send 8 CAESAR 155 mm cannons (truck mounted, range 40 km) to Afghanistan.

Two will be put in each of the three FOBs used by the French there (in Kapissa and Surobi) and two will be kept as spare in Kabul. These cannons will be crewed by the 11 RAMa (11 ème Régiment d'artillerie de marine) and it will be the first operational deployement of the CAESAR which entered service in the French army less than a year ago.

The 120 mm RTF1 heavy mortars already used by French artillerymen in Afghanistan will remain in theatre so as to offer a wide range of option to the tactical commander.

Link in French

http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/

The CAESAR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camion_équipé_d'un_système_d'artillerie
 
#2
Be interesting to see how these light wheeled SPGs work out- seems like the right bit of kit for supporting 'medium-weight' forces like 19th Lt Bde...don't the Czechs make a not dissimilar one called the Zuzana?
 
#8
Last time French artillery used its 155 mm cannons in anger (AUF1 SP Guns, Igman, Bosnia, 1995), they did not forget their shells, all 650 of them....19 Rgt RA was also firing alongsides them with their Light Guns as well as FFL and RNLMC 120 mm RTF1 heavy mortars.
 
#9
fantassin said:
AndyPipkin said:
Does France have Excalibur or equivalent? Can CEASAR fire Excalibur?
AFAIK, France has no Excalibur; it is working with the russians to adapt the Krasnopol shell but it is very expensive.

The Impaqt project is also going on with the UK IOT produce a 155 mm shell capable of an accuracy of 10 metres.

http://defense-update.com/products/i/impaqt.htm
The Krasnopol shell is a long shell and has to be manually loaded. Does CESAR have autoload?

BTW as Qinetiq is involved with Impaqt expect the R&D costs to be astronomical :evil:
 
#11
The CAESAR has a semi auto loading system which can be disconnected to turn to manual. And yes, the Impaqt is likely to cost a packet....

As for those cannons to be useless, everything points to the contrary. In theatre, the Brits are happy with their L118s, the Dutch with their PzH2000s and the Canucks with their M-777s. Those pieces are truly offering an around-the-clock, all weather support and reports tend to prove that the ACM start to seek cover and give breathing space to coalition forces when they hear heavy lead coming their way.

Since the French want to establish a truly autonomous FRA TF in RC-E, the CAESAR will offer them a network of self supporting FOBs with heavy firepower or illum they can rely on and control without external intervention. The 40 km range will be a great improvment on the 13 km range of the 120 mm RTF1 mortars they had been using up to now.

On top of this, the CAESAR having good sales prospects (it has already been sold to Saudi and Thailand), the "Combat proven" stamp will also come in handy when it will compete with other systems (even though CAESAR has currently not opponent in its class, the closest thing being the Archer which weighs nearly twice as much).
 
#12
fantassin said:
...........reports tend to prove that the ACM start to seek cover and give breathing space to coalition forces when they hear heavy lead coming their way.
No sh1t Tonto! If the ammo it fires is anything like the UK L15 ammo each round will generate between 15,000 -20,000 fragments. Deadly in airburst mode 8)
 
#13
I know I am stating the very obvious but apparently KGB resident had difficulties grasping this concept....shrapnels make no difference between low and high intensity warfare I reckon....
 
#14
fantassin said:
I know I am stating the very obvious but apparently KGB resident had difficulties grasping this concept....shrapnels make no difference between low and high intensity warfare I reckon....
Pedantic mode on!

Its fragments or splinters - not Shrapnel 8) Shrapnel is carried and a carrier shell and expelled by and internal charge.

Pedantic mode off!

And I agree - I need to get out more and drink even more beer than I currently do :twisted:

As to troops in the open:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgalrCh9PPA
 
#16
fantassin said:
As for those cannons to be useless, everything points to the contrary...
I strongly doubt that Taliban fighters would gather in thousands in specific places. Small groups deep in mountains covered by trees, roadside bombs, ambushes, attacks on convoys... Yes, it's Talibans tactics. How could they be hit by these cannons? Well, some villages that are under control of Taliban could be shelled. But it can be done by helicopters and planes as well. But it could lead to civilian casualities. Are the cannons able to avoid them. Rather no.

Generally helicopters are much more effective in guerillar war, especially if guerillas haven't effective anti-helicopter weapons.

The cannons are usefull against regular armies with tanks, military bases, with anti-aircraft weapons. Such big cannons are as usefull in Afghanisatan as in Paris suburbs to fight against rioters and protect cars to be burned.

fantassin said:
The 40 km range will be a great improvment on the 13 km range of the 120 mm RTF1 mortars they had been using up to now.
This difference is very importand in a war against regular army. Guerillas are able to approach at close distances, lower than minimal range of big cannons that makes them useless.

fantassin said:
On top of this, the CAESAR having good sales prospects (it has already been sold to Saudi and Thailand), the "Combat proven" stamp will also come in handy when it will compete with other systems (even though CAESAR has currently not opponent in its class, the closest thing being the Archer which weighs nearly twice as much).
Here I absolutely agree.
 
#17
I can see pages of pointless discussion on the use of FA in COIN. All I will say is that I do not agree on your point of view and that it also seems to be the case for a lot of staff officers and a lot of units on the ground that are perfectly happy to be able to rely on 105 or 155 artillery fire when they ask for it.

FYI, the Dutch PzH2000 did their first fire mission within hours of their arrival in Oruzgan. So their is very much a need, esp. when CAS is not available because of weather/other TICs/SNAFUs etc.
 
#19
fantassin said:
I can see pages of pointless discussion on the use of FA in COIN. All I will say is that I do not agree on your point of view and that it also seems to be the case for a lot of staff officers and a lot of units on the ground that are perfectly happy to be able to rely on 105 or 155 artillery fire when they ask for it.

FYI, the Dutch PzH2000 did their first fire mission within hours of their arrival in Oruzgan. So their is very much a need, esp. when CAS is not available because of weather/other TICs/SNAFUs etc.
Why not to use weapons that are at your disposal, at least to test it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chora

Oruzgan is 2/3 the size of the Netherlands, but the Dutch presence has been challenged to provide security to areas it patrols regularly. When faced with the security challenge, the Dutch reverted to an "inkspot policy" whereby they focused their attention only on Oruzgan's three population centres, leaving other areas to Taliban control.
So even with PzH2000 the Dutch are unable to control big territories. As for guarding of relatively small "inkspot" areas then usual (not so expensive) cannons could be used with the same effect.

As I understand there is a naive hope that new 'super-weapons' would help to defeat the Taliban.

I believe that our American friends have a more practical approach to such systems

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/crusader/

The Crusader self-propelled howitzer was being developed for the US Army as a replacement for the Paladin and the US Army requirement was expected to be for over 800 vehicles. In May 2002, the Crusader program was officially terminated by the Department of Defense because it was not considered sufficiently mobile or precise for the evolving security needs of the 21st century. In August 2002, United Defense received the formal termination which ends all further work on the program. United Defense has been awarded a contract to use technologies developed for the Crusader program to produce a lighter and more deployable Objective Force Cannon or Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) cannon. "Objective Force" is the working title for the US Army's long-term future combat force. The NLOS cannon is planned to be fielded in 2009.
And note, the decision to terminate the project was made then the war in Afghanistan was unleashed.
 
#20
From Aust sources I've been hearing reports that PzH2000 performance is not up to the standards of RA and RAA, although its difficult to judge how much of this is the gun and how much is procedural. There are indications that at long range dispersion is horrific even without assisted shells, if true CEASAR, another 52cal barrel will likely be the same. Being a boring person a while ago I found a FT for the much acclaimed 155mm GCN-45 (claimed by some as Gerard Bull's wonder weapon), dispersion long range is huge, and even at AS90 ranges its notably greater. Without guided shells long range 155mm are a waste of ammo unless you just want to frighten random wildlife. However, ar shorter ranges using a L15 type shell airbust it should exacerbate the celestial virgin shortage.

Of interest is a report that the US is about to procure Block 2 Excalibur, this is cheaper than block 1 and raises reliabilty from 85% to 99%, it appears the main reason for this is a clever bit of engineering from a small UK coy.
 

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