Caesar howitzers will arrive in Estonia this year following the signing of a contract with France, Estonia, Croatia and KNDS at the Eurosatory conference in Paris on 19 June 2024.

The Caesar howitzer is a self propelled 155mm cannon, providing operators with a mobile, flexible, long-range fire support capability.  

KNDS will triple its monthly production rate of two unit per month, up to six per month, to fulfil orders. Six of 12 ordered Caesar howitzers will be provided to Estonia within 2024.

France ordered 109 Caesar howitzer cannons from KNDS in January 2024, with the first to be delivered in 2026. 

KNDS Caesar howitzers are in use in Ukraine, and the nation has ordered 600 since it came into service.  

The framework cooperation arrangement for the joint acquisition of the Caesar cannons is an example of European partner nations aggregating the nation’s defence demands under the cause of facing the European Union’s security challenges. As such, the purchase is eligible for funding from the European Union, according to a release from the French Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

The French MoD release goes on to state that other countries have expressed a ‘strong interest’ in joining this cooperative agreement, and should be successful with the support of the partner nations, France, Croatia and Estonia. 

Estonia’s Minister of Defence, Hanno Pevkur, welcomed the purchase as contributing to the nation’s National Defence Development Plan, aiding its urgent priority need for a wheeled, self-propelled artillery battalion: “We are glad that French industry is able to provide six howitzers already this year and the accompanying package of necessary training and spare parts to within the timeframe that suits Estonia’s urgent capability development timelines.”

“Today is a historic day marking a new milestone in the bilateral defence cooperation between Estonia and France, significantly enhancing France’s footprint in Estonia,” added Pevkur.