French arms manufacturers will produce 78 Caesar howitzers by the beginning of 2025 to supply them to Ukraine, the country's Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Jan. 18 in an interview for Le Parisien.
The news came amid the announcement of several new weapons deliveries to Ukraine following French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement about signing a bilateral military agreement next month while in Kyiv. As revealed by Macron, 40 SCALP long-range missiles and other ordinance are also expected to be delivered by France.
According to Lecornu, in the coming weeks, France will deliver six Caesar howitzers, bought by Kyiv at its own expense, with Paris able to produce 75 more by 2025. The approximate price of one of the artillery pieces is up to 4 million euros ($4.31 million).
“There are 49 Caesar howitzers in Ukraine so far that led to tactical success. We aimed to produce 78 Caesar howitzers in 2024, encouraging Europeans and our allies to join financing,” he said.
The Defense Minister also said that France will be supplying Ukraine with 50 AASM high-precision air-dropped bombs per month until the end of the year. The munitions, which will see service in Ukraine for the first time, have been adapted to be deployed from Ukrainian Soviet-era combat aircraft.
Paris will also increase the delivery of artillery shells to up to 3,000 per month in February, Lecornu said. Earlier, France had been providing Ukraine with 2,000 artillery shells per month.
An “artillery coalition” to strengthen Ukrainian capabilities against Russia is expected to be launched by Paris on Jan. 18. This coalition will be chaired by France and the U.S., and it will proceed within the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in a format of Ramstein.