Lithuania has signed an agreement with France to procure a total of 18 Caesar Mark II self-propelled 155 mm howitzers for the country’s armed forces.

Announced by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence (MND), the bilateral deal was signed during Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas’ visit to Paris on 29 December, when he met French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

The latest announcement builds on the initial signing of declaration of intent in June 2022.

By joining the Caesar Mark II development programme, Lithuania aims to enhance its armed forces’ capabilities, while also strengthening its military cooperation with France.

According to Lithuanian MND, the country is planning to allocate around €110m to €150m of funds for the procurement, development and integration of Caesar artillery system.

Delivery of all the howitzers is slated to complete by 2027.

Anušauskas said: “As we analyse the course of the war in Ukraine, we recognise the need to enhance the direct fire support capability in The Lithuanian Armed Forces

“Lithuania further provides the continued assistance with military equipment to Ukraine therefore we are facing the need for replenishment.

“Precisely for that reason a decision was made to procure the new-generation Caesar Mark II artillery systems, versatile and suitable for the various artillery tasks.”

Meanwhile, France’s Ministry of Armed Forces has already requested weapons manufacturer Nexter to start the associated design and development work.

Lithuania will receive the enhanced version of Caesar wheeled artillery system, which is currently in service with the French forces and offers better mobility and reliability, as well as enables quick and easy personnel training.  

Once delivered, the new howitzers will be assigned under Lithuanian Griffin Infantry Brigade’s Brigadier General Motiejus Pečiulionis Artillery Battalion.

Caesar will replace Lithuania’s ageing towed 105mm howitzers.