The context of the war in Ukraine allows France to sell more weapons.
Lithuania thus signed a letter of intent to acquire 18 French Caesar self-propelled guns, during a meeting between the Armed Forces Ministers of the two countries on Monday on the sidelines of the Eurosatory defense fair in Villepinte.
“Lithuania will buy 18 Caesar Mark II howitzer guns,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas announced in a tweet accompanied by a photo of the signing of the letter of intent with his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu.
"They will considerably strengthen the capacities of the Lithuanian army", he added, specifying that this is the "largest acquisition project" ever passed with France.
🇱🇹 will buy 18 Caesar MarktII howitzers from 🇫🇷.
Today me and my colleague DefMin of 🇫🇷 @SebLecornu signed a letter of intent for acquisition of the systems.
They will significantly strengthen @LTU_Army defense capabilities.
✅ It is the largest acquisition project of 🇱🇹 with 🇫🇷.
— Arvydas Anusauskas (@a_anusauskas) June 13, 2022
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This decision comes as the Baltic country, a member of the EU and NATO, has decided to increase its defense budget for 2022 by 300 million euros, bringing it to 1.5 billion, in the light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the fears it raises for its own security.
According to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, "the ties that unite Lithuania and France in terms of defense are very solid and will be further developed in the weeks to come, in the degraded geopolitical context that we are experiencing in Europe".
Deliveries from Caesar to kyiv
The conflict in Ukraine is indeed a reminder of the role of artillery in high-intensity conflicts, with the West, primarily the United States, providing dozens of guns to Ukrainian forces to contain Russian thrusts.
In this context, France delivered 6 Caesar guns to kyiv at the end of April, as well as thousands of shells.
Produced by Nexter, the Caesar is a truck-mounted 155mm cannon capable of firing six rounds per minute at a range of 40 kilometers.
The Caesar Mark II version, which Vilnius intends to purchase, is a modernized, under-development version of the system.
It includes the addition of an armored cabin, a more powerful engine and a new chassis as well as digital means.
Paris plans to acquire 33 units and modernize the 76 Caesars it already has.
Nearly 300 Caesars have also been sold to seven countries: Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Indonesia, Thailand, Czech Republic, Morocco and Belgium.
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